On the decision to make a coaching change:
"Today is a tough day. I met with Bob this morning and we relieved him of his coaching duties effective immediately. I want to thank Bob. He did a lot of good things here. He built a foundation with this organization, and apart from all else, he put his heart and soul into this team. He bled for this team and Bob is a good coach."
"This decision that I reached was not based solely on this season. Anytime you go through a situation that a coach is being relieved, there is blood on a lot of hands. It starts with myself, there is responsibility with the players and it goes through the organization. Make no mistake, there is responsibility to bear outside of Bob. But when you go through the process, which I have gone through over the course of the last couple weeks, I just felt that at this particular time for us to move forward and Bob has taken this team as far as he can take it."
"Each coach has their own style and their own way of doing things. Bob is able to get a lot out of players, but when we sat back and reviewed the season, I felt for us to move forward as an organization it was time, it was important and critical that we made this decision. I wish him nothing but the best."
"It’s not snap shots. You’re going to go through the year will maybe two snap shots of games. I don’t think you make decisions in short periods of time. This isn’t a six-game, eight-game situation. Last year, Bob was extended during the middle of an eight game losing streak. Each day that goes by is another page in the file and at that particular time, you make a decision once the season is done. That’s what we did. To me, this is a decision based on a body of work rather than a short snap shot."
On the timing of the decisions:
"I think a lot of Bob. I wanted to go through a thorough evaluation and didn’t want to act on emotion. I think you make the best decisions on clear, hard evidence. You challenge it, you rehash it, and then you maybe make a decision. Once that’s done, there is a process. And I went through that process by meeting with ownership. And once that decision is made it is imperative that you let that person know as quickly as possible and we did that."
"It’s taken some time, but to rush out and do something at the end of the season isn’t prudent. I acted on this decision as quickly as I could, but there is a process that you need to go through to make it happen."
On the current coaching staff situation:
"In addition, Jacques Cloutier was released today. Marty Gelinas, Jordan Sigalet, and Jamie Pringle all remained with the organization and we will move forward there."
On how he came to today's decision regarding Hartley:
"I think you go through the process and you make a decision. I don’t think, starting on a short leash, it doesn't make sense. You either say this is the right person to move forward with or it’s not. I got to the conclusion that we had to make a decision today."
On if player exit meeting feedback influenced his decision:
"When you go through the process, you ask yourself are we going to maximize the ability from our players as we’re currently constructing. This is not letting players off the hook. Quite the contrary. This is on a lot of other people that need to take responsibility as well, myself included. When you have a day like today, it’s not one person’s undoing."
On if he and Hartley had philosophical differences when it came to a playing style:
"I wanted to step back and take time to evaluate. I think Bob deserved that. A thorough, true evaluation with information. Not just emotion, but information. Our special teams, for a good portion of the year we were 30th in the league. There is a style of play issues as we move forward. Our goaltending was not good this year – that falls on the general manager. The way we played in front of the goaltender, that needs to be fixed as well. It’s easy to put blame somewhere else."
"I wouldn’t say it’s as cut and dry as that. There’s a way that we can improve how we play to have success. Bob and I chatted all the time. Ultimately, as I mentioned earlier, there’s many factors that come into play when you get down to it and say 'Okay, I’m making the decision now.' How I think you need to play to have success was a factor. It’s one of many. I think there’s a way, not only that you need to play to have success, but you look at your group and what the assets are and the style of play, among other things, led us to this decision."
"A couple things. You look at the games right now. I don’t want to characterize this as I’m in one corner and Bob’s in the other corner and one’s talking chess while the other is talking checkers. That’s not necessarily it. I think in today's game, you need to hold the puck. You need to work like hell to get and once you’ve got it, you’ve got to hold onto it and play with it. I think having defence is an area that we look at. We spoke a bit about our goaltending. You break down the chances that we give up and you have to have to be able to defend in this league. Special teams, those are critical areas to have any type of success. I don’t want to point and say that Bob didn’t feel any of those were important, he does. You go through the process and ultimately you come to a decision."
"It was the body of work. I don’t thing anything changed. We’ve talked about last year; I think you take short snippets. Ken King made a great quote a while back that I’ve stolen many times, he said 'Two years ago we made 18 40-foot puts.' A lot went right. This is how you move forward and you most effectively move forward, to get the most out of our group and to continue to grow, I thought this decision had to be made."
On if the team has a coaching candidate in mind:
"Today’s decision was not made upon anybody else sitting on the on-deck circle. Today is about Bob. This isn’t about having a prettier girl at the dance. You go through the process and you make a decision. Now that we’ve made that decision, the process of finding the next coach begins."
"But this is not about who it could be, who it might be. Bob deserved to go through this thoroughly and a decision be made upon what we feel will be the best move going forward, no who might be out there."
On moving forward in his search for a head coach:
"There’s no set timetable. The process will start today. I’ve got a profile in my mind of what I’m looking for. I’ve got a good idea what can give us success, what can drag success out of our group. But as far as a timetable, we’re going to start the process today. We’re going to be thorough, we’ll be extensive, and will we find the match, I don’t know. We’ll find the right match."
On if he is looking for a veteran NHL head coach or if he is open to different options:
"I’m not going to pigeon hole it. I’m not going to say that you’ve got to check these boxes. I’ve got a profile in my mind, but I want to be clear. This decision is not made with somebody in the on deck circle. I can’t be any more clear than that. I plan to be very thorough in this. This is a very important decision. Today is a difficult day and we’ll deal with today. From this point forward, we’ll start looking for that new person."
On if this was the toughest decision he has had to make during his tenure with the Flames:
"No question. You’re dealing with people and with trades and all that stuff and you guys have heard me talk about that. The human element is important. This is a good man who cared so those are hard decisions. These are not made by chance; this is not fantasy hockey. You’re dealing with people… good people. You have to make decisions that you think are right no matter how difficult they are and that’s the job."
Does this effect his influence on player utilization going forward:
"As far as the relationship (with a coach) is concerned, I think the most critical decision you make as manger is who is going to coach the hockey team. I look at today’s day and age and for me personally, you have to have a close relationship and you have to debate. You want debate, you want pushback, you want 'Hey let’s try it like this.' But ultimately, there has to be a belief and a togetherness in walking and singing the same song approach. Bob was all in, let’s not forget that. He was all in. We will get somebody who is all in, we’ll get someone who will view the game through a similar lens, but we will have debate and we will have pushback. I don’t think you can have success any other way."
On Hartley's reaction:
"I think you guys know Bob. He wears his heart on his sleeve and cares. It was a tough day. He’s a pro. He enjoyed working here. We talked and shook hands when it was over and he took it as I would have expected."
On if he has a relationship with Bruce Boudreau and if he has spoken with him:
"We made this decision today with nobody else in mind. In terms of a replacement, we will start a full search. I don’t know Bruce but today I haven’t turned the page over yet. I’ll leave this podium and we’ll go start on who the next coach will be but up until this point this is about making the decision and doing it in what I believe is the right manner and moving on."
On when he made the decision and if it was his decision alone:
"I want to make sure this is very clear; this is my decision. I debated this for a while and in the last couple of days we’ve come to it. We had an owners meeting and I made my recommendation and we moved forward."
With a 20-point regression, is there is a perception this is a tough team to coach?
"This is a lot about moving it forward. We’ve got good young players. We’ve got work to do on the roster. The manager has work to do here. I don’t look at this as a difficult team to coach. I’ll be speaking to the players. We all collectively own this, this is not pointing the finger at just one guy. I think there is tremendous upside. There is a great future for this team. Unfortunately, in this business you have to deal with difficult days and today is a difficult day. We move on but we have a bright future ahead of us."