Choose Wisely

The Calgary Flames are in the midst of an important offseason. They need a goalie to work with their future starter Jon Gillies and a head coach after the firing of Bob Hartley.

The Flames put FOUR goaltenders into a carousel; Joni Ortio, Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, and Niklas Backstrom. It took more than half the season for Dougie Hamilton to adapt to the playing style of Western Conference teams. He slowly improved, and eventually became the solid defenceman they traded for during the summer of 2015. TJ Brodie was injured for 12 games at the beginning of the season, and his defence partner Mark Giordano continued to play his strong two-way game.

The Flames could explore adding a goaltender in Marc Andre Fleury, Frederik Andersen, Ben Bishop, or can bring up Jon Gillies from the prospect pool.

Treliving and the Flames’ management decided to let Bob Hartley go following a 12th place finish in the Western Conference. Hartley has coached the Flames for four seasons, including the lockout-shortened season, finishing with a tenure record of 134-135-25. Treliving also noted that Hartley got the Flames as far as possible. The Flames’ personnel and dressing room did not have a positive environment with Hartley at the forefront.

Before adding a goalie, Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving is scouting coaches in St. Petersburg, Russia for the World Hockey Championships.

Travis Green is rumoured to be ending his time as bench boss of the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets. Green coached the Comets for three seasons, where the team posted a 120-88-20-10 record. The Comets lost in the finals to the Kings’ AHL affiliate in 2014-15, and lost to the league’s second ranked Albany Devils in 2015-16. Green could be the next AHL coach that becomes an NHL coach.

Mike Yeo was a good coach for the Minnesota Wild, when “The Big Four” were aspired to be the future core of a dominant Wild team. But that was four years ago. Yeo was unable to get his Wild team past the Chicago Blackhawks, nor the second round of the playoffs. He pushed his team to be competitive in those series, but could not get close enough to winning the Stanley Cup.

Video leaked at the middle-mark of the 2015-16 season about Yeo’s ‘lash out’ to the Wild players during practice. Yeo was unable to keep his team in the playoffs, and was quickly replaced by the AHL affiliate’s bench boss, John Torchetti. The Wild clinched an eighth seed playoff berth, and lost in six games to the Seguin-less Dallas Stars.

Mike Yeo can be a good fit for a young Flames team. He fit with a veteran Minnesota Wild group for the first three years, and got the chance to mentor Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and Charlie Coyle.

The Columbus Blue Jackets began the 2015-16 season awfully, where they couldn’t win ten games into the season. Last season, the Blue Jackets faultered because their starter, Sergei Bobrovsky had been injured for a majority of the season. This season, because Bobrovsky couldn’t stop a beach ball, Todd Richards’ coaching job was on the line, and he was eventually fired. Richards has been seen as a fine NHL coach, especially when his Blue Jackets pressured the Penguins to Game 7 in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In the time of teams looking for a new coach, Todd Richards has been forgotten. He is currently the assistant coach of the American World Championship team to Jon Hynes (current head coach of the New Jersey Devils). Richards would probably be a great coach in Calgary. He was the assistant coach of the 2014 American Olympic team, and was the bench boss of the bronze medal-winning 2014 American team. If hired by the Flames, Richards could have better success than with Columbus because of Calgary’s depth in its offence, defence, and goaltending.

Calgary could be the perfect opportunity for Todd Richards or Mike Yeo to coach a young Calgary Flames team. Either coach can be instrumental in maturing Sean Monahan, Johnny Hockey, Hunter Shinkaruk, Sam Bennett, Dougie Hamilton, (Jon Gillies,) and whomever they draft sixth overall.

Who do you want the Flames to name as their new bench boss?


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