Following the Calgary Flames' 7-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, the team fired Geoff Ward as head coach and replaced him with Darryl Sutter. Despite the win, the front office was unhappy with the team's 11-11-2 start to the 2021 season. Ward was hired this past offseason after being an interim replacement for Bill Peters last season. Altogether, Ward leaves Calgary with a 35-26-5 record.
Sutter, on the other hand, comes to the Flames with a very impressive track record. He brings 18 years of head coaching experience from his time with the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and a previous stint with Calgary. Most notably, Sutter helped lead the Kings to Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014.
In April 2017, Sutter was relieved of his head coaching duties with the Kings after the franchise missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Then two years later In July 2019, Sutter joined the Anaheim Ducks as an advisor.
Sutter returns to the Flames with a 634-467-101 career record. When he served as the team's head coach from 2002 to 2006, Sutter led the Flames to two playoff appearances in three seasons, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2003-04 season.
This marks the fifth head coaching change for the franchise since general manager Brad Treliving became the Flames general manager in 2014. Calgary currently sits in fifth place in the seven-team West Division, but is just two points out of a playoff spot.