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Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving has some tough decisions to make this off-season. At or near the top of the list is determining what to do with head coach Glen Gulutzan.
On one hand, Gulutzan's Flames were among the best teams in the league in terms of out-chancing opponents and dominating play territorially. They just struggled to convert on those chances, which is out of Gulutzan's control. With more finishing ability on the roster, and a little luck, the Flames would probably still be playing hockey right now.
On the other hand, there were a lot of periods were the Flames came out flat and looked lifeless for lengthy amounts of time. They also had a habit of completely falling apart the second something bad happened. I don't know if that's a coaching thing, but the staff's inability to stop the bleeding all year long is concerning.
Treliving hasn't given Gulutzan the vote of confidence and confirmed the latter will return next season. He also hasn't moved on, obviously.
I think the evaluation is still on-going and that Treliving is waiting to see how things play out on the coaching market before making a decision. If a guy Treliving is eying becomes available, maybe he'd be more inclined to make a change. Some potential targets in other leagues are also still occupied with their current teams.
Personally, I'd be fine with Gulutzan coming back for another year provided the Flames find a new power play assistant. It's unacceptable for a power play featuring so much talent to be so horrendous.
In the event a coaching change is made, one guy I'd really like to see considered is Sheldon Keefe.
Split between the Soo Greyhounds and Toronto Marlies, Keefe has won 246 of 362 regular season games (68%) he's coached over the last five seasons.
He doesn't have NHL experience, which will probably be a problem for Flames management, but his teams have been *extremely* successful and I'm not sure what more he has to prove in order to get a shot.
I know coaching talk isn't sexy but Treliving's decision to retain, or move on from, Gulutzan could be the biggest one he makes this off-season. I'm really interested to see how this plays out.
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