CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Calgary Flames have relieved head coach Geoff Ward of his duties and put Darryl Sutter at the helm of the team.
Sutter coached the Flames from 2002 to 2006, and served as the team’s general manager from 2003 to 2010.
The 62-year-old from Viking, Alta., guided Calgary to the Stanley Cup final in 2004 when the Flames lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 5, 2021
He has done his rotations around the league, coaching in Chicago, San Jose, and Los Angeles, where he snagged the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014 with the Kings.
His last job in the league was as an advisor in Anaheim in 2019.
The Flames were 11-11-2 this season under Ward, who took over as interim head coach when Bill Peters resigned in November 2019. The interim tag was removed from Ward’s title in September.
The Flames are two points back of the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens in the all-Canadian North Division. The Habs fired Claude Julien last week and replaced him with Dominique Ducharme, the only other coaching change in the NHL so far this season.
Calgary’s coaching carousel continues. Sutter is the fourth head coach general manager Brad Treliving has hired in the last five years.
A .500 team when Peter resigned amid allegations he’d directed racist comments at a player in the minor leagues a decade earlier, the Flames rallied from the controversy to go 25-15-3 for a .616 winning percentage under Ward.
Calgary downed the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in a best-of-five qualifying series to advance in last summer’s Western Conference playoffs in Edmonton.
The Dallas Stars bounced the Flames from the first round of the playoffs in six games. Calgary imploded in Game 6, allowing seven straight goals after leading 3-0.
Sutter played eight seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1979 to 1987.
He scored 161 goals and had 118 assists in 406 regular-season games, and 43 points in 51 playoff games.