Jump to content
The Official Site of the Calgary Flames

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

CastleMania

[update] Official: Playfair Moving To Phoenix

Recommended Posts

http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/06/10/playfair-gone-to-the-dogs

Jim Playfair' date=' the former Calgary Flames head coach who spent the last two seasons guiding the AHL Abbotsford Heat, could be leaving the organization to take an assistant coaching position with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes.

Playfair has been offered a job under Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, which he has until Friday to accept.

Calls to Playfair Thursday weren’t answered, and he didn’t return messages.

As of late Thursday afternoon, he hadn’t resigned his post with the Flames.

The option year of Playfair’s contract was picked up by the Flames in mid-May, but he does have a window of opportunity to pursue and accept an NHL position.

In the past two seasons at the helm of the Abbotsford Heat, Playfair has compiled a 77-61-22 record.

The Heat made the playoffs in their inaugural season and advanced to the second round, but this past season they failed to make the playoffs with a young squad.

Playfair has been part of the Flames organization for more than a decade, taking the head coaching job with the Saint John Flames in 2000-01 and guiding that team to the Calder Cup championship.

Midway through the 2002-03 NHL season, he joined the Flames as an assistant coach after Darryl Sutter took the reins following the firing of Greg Gilbert.

Playfair was head coach of the Flames during the 2006-07 season, during which the team posted a 43-29-10 record, but after the team lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the playoffs, he was demoted to associate coach under Mike Keenan for the following two seasons.

To his credit, Playfair handled the situation with great class and willingly accepted the bench-boss position in Abbotsford when the Flames moved their minor-league franchise to B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

Despite having teams loaded with young players on entry-level contracts — few of whom are expected to become impact NHLers, not to mention dealing with an obscene number of injuries both seasons — Playfair’s squads were competitive.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak

[/quote']

If he ends up taking it that will be a loss for Calgary. I think he is one of the more competent individuals in the organization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allthough I agree with you that it would be a loss for Calgary, I jsut don't see him leaving.

He said that he only wanted to be a head coach in the NHL, and that he was going to work his way there. He made it clear he was not looking for any shortcuts to the NHL.

Remember, the Flames wanted him as an Assistant coach, and he rathered coach in the AHL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, this would be a suprise. He said that when he went down and reiterated it several times that he wants to be a head coach in the NHL and felt the best way to do that was not to be an assistant in the NHL. Maybe he has learned, or being told, that in fact an assistant is a better avenue but i'm not sure. Seems to me running a bench at the AHL would be best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be a pretty dumb move on Playfair's part. If it was a top end team offering him the position, I wouldn't doubt his interest. But given just the uncertainty in the Coyotes organization in the foreseeable future, I can't see Playfair being interested in this gig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope he declines. I think Jim Playfair is a valuable member of the Flames organization. I think he also has a chance to have a very good season with the Heat this year, one that would really get him on the radar for NHL head coach vacancies next summer. They finally have some offensive talent (Howse, Nemisz, Wahl, and Horak); a solid blueline (Brodie, Pelech, Negrin, Breen, Seabrook); good checking/depth forwards (Stone, Armstrong, Bouma, Meyer), and a very good goalie in Irving. The Heat could really make some noise this year (especially if they can finally get rid of the injury bug that has plauged them the past two years).

Even if some of those players don't re-sign with the Flames or actually get called-up to play with the Flames for some portion of the season, there is still more talent on the Team then in recent memory. There are also plenty of contracts coming off the Flames books next year so the players will be hungry to prove they can be full-time NHL'ers for the 2012/12 season, and Playfair is a very good coach IMO, so all signs point to success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He should just stay in Calgary because he's likely the next guy in line to head coach the Flames. Brent has one more year (cause we've got a borderline playoff team that could very well miss the playoffs again.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think it would be wierd just cause of the Pheonix situation. What happens if he goes, the team leaves Pheonix, and the new ownership wants their own guys. It just seems like a weird move. Then he's looking for a new team to take him in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we spoke too soon?

Per Bob McKenzie's twitter:

More coach spec: Much talk of Pete DeBoer being candidate for DET asst coach job. BTW, Jim Playfair expected to be named PHX assistant coach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we spoke too soon?

Per Bob McKenzie's twitter:

Yeah, read that during the NBA finals last night. What the hell is he doing? Does he not realize that he could very likely be out of a job next year when the Coyotes move?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just added a new associate coach, which means we were looking for someone to do what he would hypothetically be doing in Phoenix or at least similar. I think if it was really a desire of Jim to be an NHL assistcoach he would have spoken with Jay, or Jay with Jim even. Even if part of a step to becoming NHL coach, maybe next year after Sutter. If this has not happened I would think it really poor timing how this is panning out, I mean he could have gotten the assistant job here I'm sure.

I'm just going to hang back until the official announcement, until then I've no reason to be believe he'll go, but I'm still a bit weary :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just added a new associate coach, which means we were looking for someone to do what he would hypothetically be doing in Phoenix or at least similar. I think if it was really a desire of Jim to be an NHL assistcoach he would have spoken with Jay, or Jay with Jim even. Even if part of a step to becoming NHL coach, maybe next year after Sutter. If this has not happened I would think it really poor timing how this is panning out, I mean he could have gotten the assistant job here I'm sure.

I'm just going to hang back until the official announcement, until then I've no reason to be believe he'll go, but I'm still a bit weary :P

You are probably pretty close to what his thinking was. He took a demotion with intent of one day getting back into the coaches position. Only thing we don't know is if he was offered or considered for our Asst Coach job. If it wasn't even offered or talked about with him, that might give him the impression to look elsewhere for opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big bummer. Let's see who we can come up with to replace..

Good question. When I look back on his time spent with us and working with our farm system I think of his stellar defense first training/style.

We don't have those prime D rookies down there anymore, so maybe it will be an opportune time to redirect the focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked Jim Playfair, lots of hockey smarts. Sad to see him leave the organization but wish him the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't surprise me that he's moved on as he must have seen he was unlikely going to get another shot with the big club here in the next few seasons.

Like much of the potential Heat call ups over the last few years, Playfair has seen the organization (one which has had a good share of coach's and assistants come and go in the last few years) look elsewhere to fill the roles on the big club.

The yotes may have an uncertain future, but they're offering him a chance and he's taking a stab at it. I hope him the best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Options to replace Playfair:

Troy Ward - Currently and assistant coach on the heat, he also has experience as an NHL assistant coach with Pittsburgh.

http://www.abbotsfordheat.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=23800&ATCLID=204915873

Mike Williamson - Head coach of the Hitmen, has had a lot of success as a head coach and assistant head coach.

http://www.hitmenhockey.com/page/hockey-operations-staff

Joel Otto could be a dark horse, he is known as one of the NHL's best two way centres of all time and could pass on significant knowledge to young players. He has been an assistant coach with the Hitmen the past 5 seasons.

Lorne Molleken - Head coach and GM of the Saskatoon Blades. Knows players from the WHL well and has had tremendous success over the past few years.

http://saskatoonblades.com/lornebio

Mark Reeds - Head coach of the Owen Sound Attack. Over 500 wins as a head coach. Led the Attack to the OHL Championship.

http://www.attackhockey.com/page/hockeyops

Kris Knoblauch - Head Coach of the Kootenay Ice. He doesn't have as much experience as the others.

http://www.kootenayice.net/page/staff

In Order of these I would rank them:

Ward

Reeds

Molleken

Williamson

Otto

Knoblauch

I know there are many options, likely some better. But these are some of the considerations I would make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also throw Todd Richards and Cory Clouston into that mix as well. I think both of those guys would be excellent hires, and so far I havn't heard any of their names come up in relation to head coaching gigs.

The name I would actually seek out if Ryan Huska. He does an amazing job with the Kelowna Rockets and I think is definetly one of the young coaches on the rise. Not sure if he has NHL potential, but I think would make a fantastic AHL coach. Kevin Constantine currently doesn't have work as well and would be a solid coach for the AHL. Would install an NHL style program so players would be ready for when they make the jump. Downside with Constantine is he is much like Sutter and IMO overstress the defensive aspect of the game so I'm not sure how offense ready the prospects would become.

Huska would be my pick, but I would imagine the plan is just to promote Troy Ward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No more pure defensive coaches. We need to teach our kids how to play offence. Stats were ridiculously bad last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best of luck to Playfair in Phoenix, Maybe the next guy whoever it may be will be able to get more out of our prospects!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No more pure defensive coaches. We need to teach our kids how to play offence. Stats were ridiculously bad last year.

Flames had 1 player in the AHL last year that could potentially play in the top 6 in the NHL. Pretty hard to create offense when you don't have much talent. Playfair had to play based on the talent he had and the talent he had was not good enough to play a high octante offensive system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...