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Treliving not tipping hand on next Flames coach

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Let the name of his candidate slip? Not a chance.

Set a date for an announcement? Not yet.

And while general manager Brad Treliving admitted his search for the next coach of the Calgary Flames is nearing its end, he’s not racing to the finish line.

He’s more patient than most.

“We play in October and it’ll be before then,” said Treliving, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

“We’re getting to the finish line. It’s been a good process. It’s been an excellent process. Now we’re drawing to a close. To say it’s going to be today, tomorrow … we’re comfortable that we’re going to bring this to fruition and get the right person for the job in short order.

“I’d love to be way more specific than that, but that’s as specific as I’ll get.”

The reserved Treliving has seen his search extend to its sixth week following the dismissal of previous head coach Bob Hartley and associate coach Jacques Cloutier, who were relieved on May 3 following a playoff-less 35-40-7 campaign.

Treliving expects to announce a name soon.

But he won’t be rushed.

“We’re really trying to identify what our next coach would look like,” he said. “I think it’s important to do that before looking at all these different fields. Unless you have a plan, you can get off course.

Plenty of candidates have been rumoured.

Glen Gulutzen, former head coach of the Dallas Stars, is among the names being bandied about most vehemently.

Gulutzen, currently an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks, spent six years as coach of the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL from 2003-09 before being promoted to the position with Texas of the American Hockey League. He spent two years in the AHL, earning a trip to the Calder Cup final, before earning the coaching position with the Dallas Stars in 2011.

Gulutzan went 64-57-9 in Dallas, missing the playoffs in both seasons. He was hired by the Canucks organization two months after being let go by the Stars in May 2013.

Kevin Dineen of the Chicago Blackhawks and Todd Reirden of the Washington Capitals have also been rumoured for the position.

Treliving didn’t name names.

He didn’t set a date, either.

But he did describe the ideals of the next head coach of the Flames.

“We spend a lot of time drawing up a profile of what we think are important attributes,” he said. “You’ve got to be intelligent in a lot of ways. Intelligence can manifest itself in a lot of ways, obviously, in terms of how you want to play the game, your belief system and have you had success in this league, the style of game, the ability to communicate … being smart is an important part.

“Being able to communicate that plan, being able to really get to players is important. To me, there’s a structure and an X’s and O’s and a technical piece that’s important.

“I think it’s somebody that’s ultimately a good person … that you have a trust factor with, is going to do the right things, has a real burning desire and passion to have success, a strong work ethic. This is a hard business. It’s a very, very competitive business. As much as you have to outwork your opponents on the ice, you have to do that off the ice.

“Without getting into too much detail, those are areas we felt were really important. When you look around at people that have had success as a head coach, being able to work with others, empowering the staff, those types of things we felt that’s what we’re after.”

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