Just over a week after the Calgary Flames left the Edmonton bubble after their first-round series loss, the team is looking to start getting things aligned for next season.
One of the decisions Calgary will need to make during the off-season is naming a permanent head coach.
“Geoff Ward came in there under extremely difficult circumstances and really stabilized the team,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during the Saturday Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “The Flames have to decide if he’s going to be their coach for next year.”
Ward took over as interim head coach last November after Bill Peters resigned in the wake of allegations of racist abuse made by former player Akim Aliu on social media. He led the Flames to finish the regular season fourth in the Pacific Division and a qualifying-round series win over the Winnipeg Jets.
“I’ve heard that they’re really not going to let this linger and we’re probably going to know in the next week or two what direction they’re going to go in, if it’s going to be Ward or if it’s going to be somebody else,” Friedman said.
During his time serving as Flames head coach, Ward has a 24-15-3 regular season record. The 58-year-old joined the Flames as an assistant coach in 2018 and was previously an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins. He also won the AHL’s Coach of the Year award while leading the Hamilton Bulldogs during the 2002-03 season.