Flames fire head coach after average start

CALGARY, AB - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings watches the game against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on December 31, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

Darryl Sutter is back as head coach of the Calgary Flames after the team fired Geoff Ward on Thursday night. (Getty)

Now-former Flames bench boss Geoff Ward led his squad to a 7-3 blowout win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, and then he was fired.

In a stunning bit of news shortly after Calgary’s victory — but very likely decided well beforehand — the team announced Ward’s firing through a press release on its website, in it revealing another bombshell: Former Flames head coach Darryl Sutter is returning for his second tour duty with the club.

Though faint rumblings of a possible reunion between Sutter and the Flames had been lingering, there didn’t seem to be any strong indications until the Flames made it official after Thursday’s game.

It’s possible like it took a little convincing to make it happen, as The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Sutter signed a three-year deal, covering this season and two more after it.

Sutter’s first stint in Calgary wasn’t a long one, but it was definitely productive — one that included a trip all the way to Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

Ward, who has been on the hot set for seemingly the entire season, has been straight up average during his two seasons with the Flames, guiding the team to a playoff berth last season (early exit) and following that up with a 10-11-2 start to the 2021 campaign.

Thursday’s news follows last week’s shocker in Montreal, where Claude Julien was unexpectedly fired and replaced by Dominique Ducharme.

Sutter will take over with the Flames sitting fifth spot in the division, but just two points behind Montreal for the North’s final playoff spot.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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