The Calgary Flames have announced the two new assistant coaches and have now completed the hirings behind the bench.
After we found out yesterday on Twitter per Pat Steinberg and Elliotte Friedman, the Calgary Flames made it official today with the hirings of Ryan Huska and Geoff Ward as the assistant coaches. It’s been speculated since the firing of Glen Gulutzan that Huska may be part of the Flames coaching staff, but nobody knew for sure.
Huska has been the head coach for the Flames AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat for the past four seasons (Adirondack the first year before relocation). Under Huska, the Heat failed to make the playoffs three years and were eliminated in the first round in the other year. They did, however, keep above .500 all four years.
This past season wasn’t a big surprise that Stockton didn’t make the playoffs. With many of their players going up to the Flames, especially in the final few weeks, Stockton was missing some of their best players. And with many Stockton graduates, if you will, up with the Flames, Huska has been somewhat credited with the development of these young players. Which is why it was somewhat anticipated that he could be named as an assistant coach.
Geoff Ward has been an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils for the past three seasons. He was acting primarily as their powerplay coach where NJ was tied for ninth best PP in the league at 21.4%. It was quite good, seeing how it was mainly Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri carrying the weight for the forwards with the man-advantage and Will Butcher for the defencemen.
Welcome, Ryan and Geoff!