Don Hay Becomes Flames’ Coach
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Don Hay, a former coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, was hired as coach of the Calgary Flames on Tuesday in a return to the team where he was once an assistant.
He replaces Brian Sutter, who was fired at the end of last season.
``I look forward to the challenge in the future here in Calgary,″ Hay said at a news conference. ``Our expectations are the playoffs.″
Hay has spent the last two seasons as coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans.
Brent Peterson, an assistant coach with Nashville, had been among the favorites to get the Calgary coaching job. Other finalists were Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier and Sutter, who was reconsidered by the new Flames management.
Sutter was part of a mid-April housecleaning in which the Flames fired general manager Al Coates and scouting director Nick Polano.
New general manager Craig Button said he wanted to hire a proven winner.
Hay was an assistant coach with the Flames during the 1995-96 season, the last year the team made the playoffs.
The next season, he left to take the head coaching job with the Coyotes, guiding the team to a 38-37-7 record. They made the playoff but Hay was fired after the Coyotes were eliminated in the first round in seven games.
He later spent time as an assistant coach with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Hay guided the Kamloops Blazers to a pair of Memorial Cup championships. He also coached the national junior team to the gold medal at the world junior hockey championships in Red Deer, Alberta.
Former Flames defenseman Brad McCrimmon and Flame Brian Skrudland are expected to be hired as assistant coaches.