Martin Gelinas, former NHL forward and Calgary folk hero, has joined the Calgary Flames’ almost-all-new coaching staff as an assistant alongside Bob Hartley, Jacques Cloutier and the retained Clint Malarchuk.
From the Flames’ press release this afternoon:
“We are excited to add Marty to our coaching staff,” said Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley. “As a player, he was known for his incredible fitness and conditioning as well as an unparalleled work ethic. We know that he will bring the same enthusiasm and commitment as a coach combined with his experience from his former position in player development with Nashville. He will be well respected by our players for his reputation as a former player, his on-ice accomplishments and his eagerness to improve our team.”
“I’m happy to be back with the team and the city that I know so well,” said Gelinas. “I have so many fond memories of my time as a player in Calgary and my family and I have made it our home ever since. I look forward to contributing to Calgary’s success and being part of a winning team.”
While Gelinas only played 157 regular season games with the Flames between 2002 and 2004, his heroics during the march to the Stanley Cup in 2004 — a stat line that included three-series winning goals including two overtime winners — earned him the nickname “The Eliminator” amongst the Calgary faithful. For many Flames fans, Gelinas’ name carries an asterisk after his unreviewed goal in Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals nearly added a Cup-winning goal to his resume.
Gelinas most recently spent three years working as the Director of Player Development for the Nashville Predators but claimed he got the itch for a coaching role after spending a short stint behind the bench for the Preds’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Gelinas lives in Calgary and keeps in touch with his old linemates Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy, and reportedly was the only candidate interviewed for the vacant coaching role.
Because I’ll never get tired of seeing it, here’s Martin Gelinas dispatching the Canucks and Red Wings in overtime in 2004: