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'HE CROSSED OFF ALL THE BOXES'

Ray Edwards was the logical choice to add to the Flames coaching staff, says Ward

by GEORGE JOHNSON @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Ray Edwards didn't hesitate. 

Not for a nano-second.

"My first reaction was: 'Hey, whatever's needed','' said the newest member of the Flames' coaching fraternity. "If this is what you think is the best thing, I'm on board. Wholeheartedly.

"Obviously, I have years and years of coaching behind me. So it won't be a big adjustment, other than getting up to speed.

"In development, you're always watching but you're not ingrained. Now I've gotta get ingrained in what we're doing, how we're doing it, the details, how we play, individuals, everything else.

"So it'll be a crash course the next few days. We've got, like, eight games in 13 or 14 days. A lot."

Friday, the Flames announced that Edwards, their Director of Player Development, would assume an assistant coaching position.

He was on the ice later in the morning for practice at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Edwards coaching resume includes stops at AHL Portland and San Antonio, ECHL Huntington, Cincinnati and San Angelo, and CHL New Mexico.

"Tre and I sat down for the last couple of days and talked about it and really what we wanted to do was create a job description, to see exactly what sort of candidate we wanted," said interim coach Geoff Ward. "We looked at some names internally and looked at some names outside the organization and (Edwards) crossed off all the boxes. He's got some real advantages for us. He's been with all these players virtually since draft day; knows the personalities of all the people. He's comfortable working in this environment.

"He has a lot of coaching experience. He knows all of us. We know him."

 

Video: "I'll be an eye in the sky"

 

Edwards joins Ward, fellow assistants Martin Gelinas and Ryan Huska and goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet on the staff. He'll act as an eye-in-the-sky, up top in the press box, during games.

Gelinas will now be down on the bench.

Asked what he missed about leaving the coaching side of the game for the development job here back in 2015, Edwards replied:

"When the game starts; just that competitive element, trying to out-coach the guy on the other bench, making sure you get the right people on the ice, making the game … and then winning the game.

"What you don't miss is after the game when you got calls and you're losing three guys, two more got injured. 

"You don't miss that."

Out on the ice for practice, Edwards didn't have to go around introducing himself to many players.

"Stoney and Tobie I coached in the American league,'' he said. "Then probably six or seven guys we've helped bring up through the system and if you remember a couple years ago, I was in for two or three months so I got to know Johnny and Mony.

"I need to get to know Looch and Lindy and Hanny and those guys but I got to say 'hi' today and we'll start to build those relationships.

"But yeah, I'm excited. This is a really good group of people here."

Ward figures the transition should be as close to seamless as possible.

"We spent the last year and half together in the organization,'' he said, "but before that he was coaching in the American league around the same time I was; he played in the Ontario league when I was coming through as a younger coach and I watched him on a lot of nights.

"His best friend was my goalie coach in junior - also a good friend of mine. So we've got a lot of connections.

"It's a comfortable fit. An effective fit, because of all the strengths that he has."

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