Calgary Flames hire Bob Hartley as coach
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Bob Hartley has returned to the NHL as coach of the Calgary Flames. He succeeds Brent Sutter, who left the team in April after three seasons.
Hartley coached Colorado for five seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001. He joined the Flames on Thursday following a championship season with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland. Hartley also spent parts of five seasons as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers.
He agreed to a three-year deal with Calgary. The Flames had to secure his release from the Lions because he had a year remaining on two-year contract.
Hartley said he was in talks with the Montreal Canadiens about their coaching vacancy, but informed them this morning he would join the Flames.
"I am back in the NHL, but I am in a great Canadian market in a very proud community, very supportive community of their hockey club,'' Hartley said.
Calgary narrowly missed the playoffs under Sutter for three years in a row. The Flames finished ninth in the Western Conference this season with a record of 37-29-16.
"One of the teams in the Stanley Cup finals, the L.A. Kings, just finished five points ahead of the Calgary Flames,'' Hartley said. "It's just to show you the difference between being a Stanley Cup winner and a non-playoff team is very, very slim.''