Flames make Ward head coach after interim run


Geoff Ward has been named the Calgary Flames‘ head coach after leading the team to a 25-15-3 record and a trip to the playoffs as interim coach.

The contract is for two years, sources said.

The Flames eliminated the Winnipeg Jets in four games in the qualifying round before falling to the Dallas Stars in six games in the first round.

Ward took over the Flames in late November and was named the interim coach on Nov. 29 after his predecessor, Bill Peters, resigned amid allegations of using racial slurs and of physical abuse of players.

The Flames have reached the second round of the playoffs just once since 2009 and have now cycled through four coaches over the past five seasons.

“I don’t think you have success churning people over all the time,” general manager Brad Treliving told reporters in August after his team was eliminated. “You need stability. That’s certainly not been the plan here in terms of the coaching position, but we’ve gone through what we’ve gone through. Now we have to remove ourselves a little bit from the situation, take a deep breath to let all the emotional stuff drain out and make your decision.”

Ward, 58, was previously an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins, helping the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011. He has previous head-coaching experience in several leagues, including the OHL, ECHL, AHL and the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.



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