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Flames Hire Gulutzan as New Head Coach

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Flames Fill Their Head Coach Vacancy With Hire of Glen Gulutzan

The Calgary Flames have filled the final head coach vacancy in the NHL. The Flames have hired former Dallas Stars head coach Vancouver Canucks assistant Glen Gulutzan as their new head coach. The team announced the hiring on Thursday.

While Gulutzan never played in the NHL, he spent 16 seasons playing pro hockey. Most of his success came in the WHL, where he was considered a top centers in the league.

Following his retirement, Gulutzan spent 6 seasons coaching the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. He then took over behind the bench for the Texas Stars, bringing them to a Calder Cup final in his first season.  After the Stars fired Marc Crawford after the 2011 season, Gulutzan was promoted to head coach. The Stars struggled in his 2 seasons and he would be fired mid way through the 2013 season. John Tortorella hired Gulutzan as an assistant coach in Vancouver.

Gulutzan joins a Flames team that has struggled to find success in recent years. Under former head coach Bob Hartley, the Flames missed the playoffs 3 of the 4 seasons with him behind the bench. The Flames have only made the playoffs once since 2009, making it to the Western conference Semifinals in 2015. The Flames struggled this past season, but go into the season with a young roster led by forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, and veterans Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie leading the teams blue line. Possibly the teams biggest weakness is their goaltending, which they are rumored to be looking to upgrade.

Gulutzan told reporters in Vancouver that with more experience, he will do things better in Calgary than in Dallas. “I think the only way to you can get to that point is to live it or be an assistant for three or four years in the league. With more experience, I probably would have done some things differently, but that’s what experience is.”