We went through a long process. I spent the whole draft interviewing and talking and gathering information on guys. It was a real tough choice for all of the positions. - Glen Gulutzan
CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving got his head coach in Glen Gulutzan in mid-June.
Gulutzan got his assistants in Paul Jerrard and Dave Cameron on Wednesday.
“Right from the beginning, even during the interview process, I had to put in a list of guys that I would consider hiring and we talked about it during that,” Gulutzan said. “It’s kind of a standard question during the interview process. Those guys were on my list, and as we got through it we started to talk to everybody once I actually got hired.
“We went through a long process. I spent the whole draft interviewing and talking and gathering information on guys. It was a real tough choice for all of the positions.”
The hires join assistant coach Martin Gelinas, goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet and video coach Jamie Pringle.
Jerrard comes to the Flames after spending 19 seasons as a coach in three different leagues. His last gig was an assistant coach for Vancouver’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets.
Prior to Utica, the Winnipeg, MB native was an assistant to Gulutzan in 2011-12 and 2012-13 with the Dallas Stars, and also from 2009-10 and 2010-11 with the Stars AHL affiliate in Texas. Jerrard served one other season as an NHL assistant coach when he worked for Colorado in 2002-03 under former Flames coach Bob Hartley.
“I’ve worked with Paul, but at the end of the day, he comes highly qualified,” Gulutzan said. “We all know, especially with specialty teams, we want to make sure we’re dialed in. He was a good hire for us.
“In Dallas he had the 13th-best penalty kill in the league. We were second in Austin in the penalty kill. He was fourth and sixth in Utica on the penalty kill. We had a successful penalty kill in Vancouver, which he was a big part of. We worked together a lot on it. We wanted to shore up that area and make sure we had a guy who worked with our D and young D coming as well, and a guy that’s worked with veterans.”
Jerrard has optimism for the group he’ll be working with.
“I think there’s a lot of good pieces here and I think the management has done a great job to add some pieces here with free agency,” he said. “You look forward to working with the group and getting to know the group and connecting with the group and pushing it forward. I think it’s an enthusiastic group that can skate. I think we can make some things happen.”
Cameron joins the Flames after spending the past six seasons with the Ottawa Senators, most recently as their head coach the last two years.
Before his stint in Ottawa, the 57-year-old Cameron twice served as a coach in the AHL, first with the St. John’s Maple Leafs as an assistant in the 1999-00 season and more recently when he was the head coach with Ottawa’s affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, from 2004-07.
“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, World Juniors and that kind of experience ... it’s good to have one of those guys with you.
“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.”
Like Jerrard, Cameron is excited for the opportunity to lend his experience.
“Really, really excited,” Cameron said.
“Just elated. Hockey is what I do and I love coaching and I think it’s unique coaching in a Canadian city. I know the passion that’s here. I’m looking forward to it.”