Calgary Flames

Flames Sunday Census: Who do fans want to see hired as Calgary’s new coach

After a disappointing season, the Calgary Flames are now without a head coach and general manager. In what looks like a clean slate and fresh start for the organization, key decisions lie ahead. It is up to the Flames’ new general manager to decide which coach will stand behind the bench. As the Darryl Sutter era has ended for the Flames, it is clear that a change in coaching style is needed. The Flames fanbase’s question is, who will be that next coach? We asked, you answered.

The Win Column - Sunday Census Featured Image - Graphical design showing a Calgary Flames branded laptop with poll results.

Want to take part in Sunday Census polls? We send them out every week on our Twitter at @wincolumnCGY. Follow along or send in ideas for the next poll!

Potential Candidates

Mitch Love

Love has seen nothing but success with the Calgary Wranglers. In what was his second stint with the team, he has won back-to-back Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award’s, which is awarded to the league’s coach of the year. Love is a very respected coach around the hockey community. On top of that, he is very much a player’s coach. The great thing about Love is that he knows the most about the Flames young talent that is available to them.

Love knows what Pelletier, Wolf, Phillips, and Zary are capable of, and if anyone knows the value that they can bring to an NHL roster, it’s him. Right now, the future on Matthew Phillips re-signing with the Flames looks pretty slim, but if Mitch Love ends up being the head coach and is giving Phillips a real shot in the NHL, does that change things? It is worth considering for the organization.

Andrew Brunette

The 2021–22 Jack Adams finalist should be very interested in coming to Calgary. Brunette was able to unlock a 115-point year for Jonathan Huberdeau, and the player has never looked more dominant than he did when coached by Brunette. Does the team prioritize getting their soon to be $10.5M player back on track? It has to be one of the top things on their list. This team will only go as far as their best players will take them. By cap hit and by skill, Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the Flames best players and one of the best playmakers in the league. The offence should revolve around him, and who better to make that happen than Brunette?

Bruce Boudreau

Loved among the Canucks fan base, to say Boudreau was also a favourite among the Canucks players is an understatement. A true definition of a player’s coach, Boudreau might be able to get the most out of the Flames players, based solely on his ability to form connections with his team. The one thing that may hinder the Flames on hiring Boudreau is the cost. As the team is already paying Sutter $8.0M over two years to not coach their team, is ownership willing to spend more millions on Bruce Boudreau? He has more experience than Love and Brunette, and as a result, the Flames will have to pay for that experience if they are interested.

Other suggestions for Flames head coach

Here are some replies from Twitter on who else might be fit for the job.

Gerard Gallant !

Originally tweeted by Frank Miron (@Sin_Cara888) on May 6, 2023.

Gallant was just let go from his coaching duties with the Rangers, and although the name is very attractive, I’m not sure how good this would be for Calgary. He has a connection with Huberdeau as he was his coach both in the QMJHL and in Florida. The issue however, is I’m not sure how willing he would be to give the young players in the organization a shot. We have seen players like Alexis Lafrenière struggle under his coaching style and instances where he either played low minutes, or got scratched. Additionally, his salary with New York was $3.5M per year. Is the organization willing to spend that kind of money again on a coach?


Originally tweeted by Mrfdogg (@DougMrf) on May 7, 2023.

Speak it into existence Flames fans, one day Iginla will be back in the Dome. However, per reports from Salim Nadim Valji from TSN, Iginla is committed to coaching Rink Hockey Academy next year. He also stated that he got the impression that Iginla would be more inclined for a role in the front office rather than behind the bench.

New chapters in Calgary

Ownership has a rare opportunity to give this franchise a clean new slate. They are first focused on finding a general manager, and it will be up to the general manager to hire their new coach. However, what direction will ownership want to go? Are they willing to try something new, or are they looking for familiar names and familiar playing styles? Sooner or later, the hockey world will find out.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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