Last week the news arrived that the new associate coaches were starting to fill the ranks. The likes of ex-NHL coach (last with the Ottawa Senators) Craig Hartsburg. His 14 years of NHL experience will help the Flames. What’s unknown is whether his style will be adaptable to the new NHL. Any Senator fans want to chime in here? We can be assured he’ll be within the confines of the Sutter system….albeit that did produce an alarming amount of goals last season.
In other news, it was announced today that Jim Playfair is leaving the team to pursue an NHL associate coaching position in Phoenix.
Playfair has been with the Flames for over 10 years starting off in the minors with the AHL squad when they were in the East-coast. His success there lead to an assistant and then head-coaching job following Darryl Sutter’s cup run.
His first and only year as a head coach of an NHL team lead to a first round exit. Flames fans at the time (and the organization) were in the mood for much more and as such Playfair took the brunt of the criticism. He was ‘demoted’ to the AHL again, a position he took, and Mike Keenan came in to offer his reign of terror.
It’s good to see Playfair move on. He wasn’t going to get any more opportunities with this club, yet his contribution to the team for 11 years cannot be overlooked. It’s too bad he didn’t have more prospects to work with. When you think of it the best rookie he groomed in his entire tenure was arguably Dustin Boyd……FAIL.
We’ll also miss his emphatic statements….
Missing pieces of the coaching puzzle for the Flames remains an associate GM to give even more help to Feaster in terms of player acquisitions, and a goalie coach.
Jamie Pringle was also hired to watch TV–I mean become the video analyst. His hiring was announced the same day as Hartsburg.