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Leading the New York Islanders is Barry Trotz, who was hired two weeks after leading the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup in 2018.
Where this preamble is headed is the fact that Geoff Ward — who was named the Calgary Flames’ 20th head coach in franchise history on Monday as general manager Brad Treliving took the interim tag off Ward’s title — is getting a real, honest chance to prove himself.
The Flames are going this route instead of looking for a solution elsewhere, instead of trying to find the “perfect fit,” instead of buying into the narrative that seeking another better, proven option is the answer. Instead, they’re staying status quo.
After going through four coaches in the last eight seasons, perhaps continuity — this time, especially after all of the twists and turns of the 2019-20 campaign, which included Ward’s early season takeover following the resignation of Bill Peters, who was accused of making racist comments toward a former player and physical abuse toward another — is the answer.
“You always gotta be careful of chasing,” pointed out Treliving. “Each year, somebody says, ‘We’re going to have a winner here’ and you’ve gotta be careful that you’re not trying to rebuild your team every year to chase the guy that won (the year before). Obviously teams win and have success for a reason. There are things you always want to emulate.
“But I put together three words as I was looking at coaches … and I think it applies to the four coaches that are still coaching is: teach, inspire and discipline/accountability. Those are the qualities you need to have to be a successful coach.”