Bob Hartley Will Reportedly Become the Coach of the Calgary Flames

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IMay 31, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 12:  Head coach Bob Hartley of the Atlanta Thrashers looks on against the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena on January 12, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils won 2-1. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

Though he was garnering lots of consideration from the Montreal CanadiensTSN is reporting that Bob Hartley will become the next head coach of the Calgary Flames

Most recently, Hartley coached the underdog ZSC Lions of Switzerland's National League A to a league championship.

Hartley also has significant experience in the NHL, having coached 651 games with the Colorado Avalanche and the Atlanta Thrashers. He was behind the bench when the Avalanche won their second Stanley Cup title in 2001 and coached the Thrashers to their only playoff appearance in 2007. 

Before taking the reigns with the Avalanche, Hartley won a Calder Cup in 1997 coaching the Hershey Bears, Colorado's then-AHL affiliate.

The Flames finished 37-29-16 this season and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Former head coach Brent Sutter, whose contract was set to expire in June, parted ways with the Flames back in April. Sutter was hired on by his brother Darryl, now coach of the Los Angeles Kings, who was the Calgary's GM back in 2009.

The current Flames GM is Jay Feaster, a man who won a Stanley Cup as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Together, Feaster and Hartley bring Stanley Cup Finals experience to a team that has only won the Cup once, back in 1989.

With a new head coach at the helm, the big question for the Flames now centers around what they will do this offseason. 

Will they try to trade captain Jarome Iginla in an attempt to kick-start the rebuilding process, or will they give him the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup with the only NHL team he's ever known?

Only time will tell. For now, Calgary can hang its hat on bringing in a head coach who can help turn around the franchise.