The one thing about Dave Cameron is he’s one heck of a human being. I probably talked to 20 people about Dave Cameron. The common theme was great coach, great communicator, unbelievable person, rock solid. - Glen Gulutzan
CALGARY, AB -- Dave Cameron didn’t have to wait long.
Three months unemployed, in fact, before finding himself back behind an NHL bench.
The Calgary Flames bench.
And Cameron is relieved to avoid a lengthy hiatus from the coaching ranks.
“Oh for sure, yeah,” said Cameron, hired Wednesday alongside Paul Jerrard as assistants to newly minted coach Glen Gulutzan.
“That’s why you’re a coach. Anytime you’re not coaching, it’s harder, or more work, looking for work than it is actually working.”
Look no more.
Cameron joins the Flames after spending the past six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, most recently as their head coach the last two campaigns. He inherited the job from Paul MacLean just over a quarter of the way through the 2014-15 season, and went 70-50-17 with one playoff appearance, a first round loss, at Ottawa’s helm.
He and assistant coaches Andre Tourigny, and Rick Wamsley were relieved on April 12.
Cameron now becomes an assistant under Gulutzan, who himself stepped into an assistant role with the Vancouver Canucks after being fired as head coach of the Dallas Stars in 2013.
“With Dave, one of the things I was looking for in that box is another head coach that’s been through the rigors of the NHL as a head guy in a Canadian market,” Gulutzan said. “That was a big plus. Just his experience … he’s coached for over 20 years. He’s coached in Ottawa. There was merit in that.
“Having another guy that’s been through that … 20 years of experience on the bench, just won a gold medal overseas in Russia (at the 2016 IIHF World Championship), World Juniors and that kind of experience ... it’s good to have one of those guys with you.”
And technically, under him.
But Gulutzan doesn’t foresee that being a problem.
“It’s not easy and I thought about that during our process. I lived it. I lived it,” Gulutzan said. “The one thing about Dave Cameron is he’s one heck of a human being. I probably talked to 20 people about Dave Cameron. The common theme was great coach, great communicator, unbelievable person, rock solid. I know what those qualities … you come in as an assistant and you take that role.
“I wanted that experience. I wanted a guy who has been in my shoes, who can challenge you on certain things that sometimes as coaches you get bullheaded and you get going in your own way. You want somebody there to go, ‘Hey, hey … this is how it’s worked better for me.’ It’s an important thing to have Dave next to me on that bench. It gives you a lot of experience.”
The same experience will help adjust Cameron, who is more acclimatized to calling the shots as bench boss with the Senators.
Cameron doesn’t foresee that adjustment being a problem, either.
“I don’t see it as really any challenge,” he said. “It’s just a case of me coming in here with a whole lot of hockey experiences, and I’m going to bring them to a new staff, to a new team, to a new organization. Not that they’re going to use everything that you bring in, but there will be a meshing of ideas.
“That’s the exciting thing about hockey. You’ve got a staff that’s relatively new to one another.
“We’ll throw lots of stuff around and we’ll try to come up with a plan that gives us the best chance of winning.”