As I'm sure most of you know by now, the Flames officially announced the hiring of Craig Hartsburg as "associate" coach this morning; Hartsburg has previous NHL experience, but is most widely recognized for his accomplishments in Major Junior where he built his reputation before ascending to the ranks of the NHL, much like Brent Sutter and Dave Lowry.
So with two coaches with Junior experience already behind the Flames' bench, what exactly does Hartsburg bring to the table? One advantage to hiring such a coach/associate coach is that they are well-versed in the struggles younger players and/or rookies have establishing themselves as a certain type of player and finding consistency. In the Flames' current cash-strapped state, it's very possible that they may have to turn to developing prospects on entry-level contacts to fill the gaps in 2011-12; the transition to the next level isn't always a smooth one, and that's where someone that possesses the skill-set that Hartsburg does may come in handy.
His recent experience coaching the WHL's Everett Silvertips may also be beneficial to the Flames at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. The number of eligible Silvertips players this year is slim, and the number highly-ranked ones even slimmer, but Hartsburg is without a doubt familiar with some of the other WHL names on the Draft board, and may even be able tip-off the Flames' scouting staff on a few diamonds in the rough.
Your daily links after the jump.
Another look at 2011 draft prospect Alexander Khokhlachev [CWGAP]
Who should Winnipeg select with the seventh overall pick in the draft? [Illegal Curve]
How David Thompson brought an NHL team back to Winnipeg [The Globe & Mail]
How much does age matter when drafting a player? [Working Towards a Title]
There is exactly nothing about the Flames organization that inspires confidence at the moment, and it doesn't appear to be getting better any time soon [Hit the Post]