Flames failed to pull trade with Preds before coaching change

Would Darryl Sutter be in charge if the move had worked?

HockeyFeed

Darryl Sutter is back behind the bench of the Calgary Flames and he wasted no time whipping this team into shape. In his first practice with his new/old team, coach Sutter put the Flames through a lengthy bag skate, forcing players to skate the length of the ice over and over and over and over and over again.

He is back. Elliotte Friedman explained in his latest 31 Thoughts on Sportsnet how he does not think the Flames would have fired Geoff Ward if Sutter hadn’t been available or willing to return behind an NHL bench. 

“I’m not convinced there would have been a coaching change in Calgary if Darryl Sutter wasn’t available. He and the Flames discussed the possibility of a reunion a few times in the last couple of years, but the timing was never right. One was during Bill Peters’ removal, and the other was after the bubble, before Geoff Ward was formally hired. A coach being hired doesn’t always have say on term, but the Flames did ask what he desired in this particular case (two more years after this one). His first game behind the bench is scheduled to be Thursday against Montreal.”

On top of that, Friedman reports that the Flames attempted to make a trade that failed through. If the deal had panned out, maybe the change would have been enough to motivate the players and Ward would still have a job. 

However, the trade was a no go. 

‘In Calgary’s search for right-handed shooters, there were conversations with Nashville, but, obviously, nothing happened.”

The Flames appear to react well to Sutter’s tough ways on Tuesday and we hope to see some spark against the Canadiens tomorrow. 

“The system is fine – that’s not an issue,” said Sutter after Tuesday’s skate. 
“It’s the execution within it and there’s two or three things, areas in there, that I think I can help the guys with and they’ll be good at it.”

Sutter added that the goal on Day 1 was defining roles and goals.

And we bet he looks to see many goals and victories moving forward.