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Calgary, AB • Canada • 31 Years Old • Male
After initially deciding not to in the early summer, Flames assistant coach Wayne Fleming has left the team to take the head coaching job in Omsk of the Continental Hockey League.

Surprising news, especially this close to training camp. This is a move that adversely affects the Flames, and puts even more pressure on Mike Keenan and his staff.

With Fleming gone, the Flames' coaching staff now consists of Keenan, Rich Preston, Jim Playfair, Rob Cookson, and goalie coach David Marcoux. Keenan is at least percieved to be on a very short leash. Preston has trotted out the same abysmal special teams for four straight seasons, and I've been calling for him to be fired for a long time. Playfair has already proven his ineffectiveness as a head coach. On this coaching staff right now, Marcoux is the only one I can say earns my confidence. If Keenan ends up canned in-season this year, I don't think I can say any of these coaches would be an improvement.

Fleming's departure further highlights a problem already highly visible for the Flames: their coaching. I always felt Fleming was most qualified to take over the team, at least on an interim basis, if Keenan were to be fired. Keenan's reputation makes him take a lot of the blame when things go wrong for the Flames, and there's a good chance he might take it officially this season. With Fleming gone, I believe it increases the probability. What kind of impact do you think Fleming's departure has?

Filed Under:   flames   wayne fleming  
September 19, 2008 10:01 AM ET | Delete
Well in the short term each coach has a specific set of players and things they work on, leaving this close to camp gives the flames staff just one day to re arrange everything they had laid out for camp. In the long term I don't think he was staying anyway though, if Keenan got fired the whole staff is going to go as well in the off season and if he stayed he'd just go to russia next year. There is some very good coaches out there right now (quenville) and i'm scared the flames are being coached by an old school task master, an ineffective special teams coach and a defensive coach who can't get an all star defence to tighten up in front of their goalie... I guess time will tell.
September 20, 2008 12:07 AM ET | Delete
I still can't believe we hired when Claude Julian was available at the time. Yup. That's all I really have to contribute. :-p
September 20, 2008 12:08 AM ET | Delete
I still can't believe we hired Keenan when Claude Julian was available at the time. Yup. That's all I really have to contribute. :-p
September 20, 2008 12:09 AM ET | Delete
I see the Delete button still doesn't work. Bah!
September 21, 2008 6:37 PM ET | Delete
if there is a problem in the coaching ranks why dont they change the staff now rather then after another year.. I think the flames have a great team.. a great leader and one of the best young d men in the game along with kipper.. deadly foundation. sutter needs to come back maybe.
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