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Calgary Flames Hire Brent Sutter's Eventual Replacement to Coach Heat

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In today's "Who's that?" news, Troy Ward, who I am told is not Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer's offspring, has been hired as the new coach for the Calgary Flame's AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.

While he might not be a high profile hiring, he seems to be a good one. In his two seasons (both full seasons) as a USHL head coach he averaged .594 winning percentage, and in his one full season as an ECHL head coach he had an absurd .722 winning percentage. He was also a midseason replacement for a very terrible Victoria Salmon Kings team and turned a very bad team with a .368 winning percentage into a very mediocre team with a .471 winning percentage.

So what will Troy Ward bring to the baby Flames? Let's ask one the man himself. From Dan Kinvig's excellent article on BC Local News:

I'm a patient teacher. I take a holistic approach to developing not just the hockey player, but the person

"My belief in today's game is, the offensive part is the hardest part of the game," he said. "We're going to try to keep the puck as much as we can, and try to stay on the offensive side of things.

"And when we don't have it, we want to be in pursuit of it really quickly. We don't want to sit back. We want to play aggressively defensively, so we can get the puck back and keep it as long as we can.

He's also frequently described as a players coach- and as one who already knows almost the entire team from his season as an assistant with the team last year, he should be very effective in that role. While this will have minimal impact on the Flames in the immediate future, this is a hiring that will have a good strong impact long term.