Calgary Flames new head coach Glen Gulutzan speaks during an NHL hockey news conference in Calgary, Alberta, Friday, June 17, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
AP Photo
June 17, 2016

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) The Calgary Flames on Friday hired Glen Gulutzan, an assistant coach for the Vancouver Canucks for the past three seasons, as their new head coach.

Gulutzan, 44, of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, has 15 years of coaching experience.

His latest job is a homecoming of sorts for Gulutzan, who was coach and general manager of Calgary's ECHL affiliate in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2009. He posted a 254-124-55 record during his time with the Thunder and was named the league's coach of the year in 2006.

''I know there's some history between Vancouver and Calgary, but I'm used to this flaming `C,''' Gulutzan said at a news conference. ''This is where I started to cut my teeth in the NHL and it's a special honor to be the head coach.''

Gulutzan's previous experience as an NHL head coach came with Dallas from 2011 to 2013. The Stars went 64-57-9 under Gulutzan and missed the playoffs both seasons. Before that, he led the AHL's Texas Stars for two seasons, taking them to the Calder Cup Finals in 2009-10.

Gulutzan replaces Bob Hartley, who was fired May 3 after the Flames finished 35-40-7. Only Vancouver and Edmonton posted fewer wins in the Western Conference. Calgary was the surprise team of the 2015 playoffs, beating Gulutzan's Canucks in the first round in six games.

Gulutzan will try to recapture that success with a team led by young forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and blue-chip defensemen T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano.

''Part of Glen's experience (in Vancouver) was working with the young players there, and we've seen some of the advances young players have had there,'' Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. ''I think that's a real asset to Glen as we talk about young players, but I don't separate it by age. I think he can connect with all types of players.''

Gulutzan played in the Western Hockey League, spent six seasons with Fresno in the WCHL and played a year in Finland.

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