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The NHL had a shakeup in the coaching ranks late Thursday night, as the Calgary Flames fired head coach Geoff Ward, replacing him with former coach and two-time Stanley Cup champion Darryl Sutter.
The Flames are 11-11-2 to start the season, and despite a 7-3 home win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday evening, it was not enough for Ward to keep his job.
Ward was officially hired in the offseason after replacing Bill Peters on an interim basis last season. In his first NHL head-coaching stint, Ward was 35-26-5.
Sutter brings plenty of experience and respect to the Flames. He was a head coach for 18 seasons, leading the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Flames and Los Angeles Kings at different points during that time. Sutter has had winning seasons in 15 of those 18 years as head coach.
He led the Kings during their Stanley Cup runs in both 2012 and 2014 and is known for a puck-possessing system that makes his teams excellent on the defensive end.
Overall, Sutter has a career coaching mark record of 634-467-101-83, including 107-73-15-15 as head coach of the Flames from 2002 to ’06. He led them to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004.
He also served as the team’s general manager from 2003 to 2010. His last NHL job was as an advisor to the Anaheim Ducks.
Sutter’s deal with Calgary is for three years.