There’s a B.C. connection to the newly announced bench boss of the Calgary Flames.
Ryan Huska, who was born in the Cranbrook but grew up in Trail in the southern interior of the province, was announced as the new head coach for the club on Monday.
Huska has been in the Flames organization since 2014, first coaching the AHL affiliate in Adirondack and later in Stockton, before stepping up into an assistant coach role with the NHL club in 2018.
Flames general manager Craig Conroy announced the hiring, after former head coach Darryl Sutter was fired at the end of the regular season.
“I’m honoured to have earned the trust of Flames ownership, of Craig and the entire management group to coach this team,” said Huska, in a press release. “My position coming into this is a little different than most as I know our players very well. We have good people in our dressing room, excellent hockey players who want to win. My job is to inspire them every single day to help get our team to the next level.”
Prior to coaching in professional hockey, Huska was a longtime coach with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, starting as an assistant coach in 2002 before taking over the bench five years later. As head coach, he led the team to a WHL championship in 2009 and a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament, falling to the Windsor Spitfires in the final.
“Following a detailed search process, today we are proud to introduce Ryan Huska as Head Coach of the Calgary Flames,” said Conroy. “While continuity and familiarity are a benefit, we have witnessed first-hand Ryan’s work ethic; he is a clear communicator who builds trust with his players; and he’s a critical thinker with a plan.
“Ryan provides 11 seasons of bench experience as a head coach from the WHL and the AHL and over 20 years coaching in total, including knowledge gained as an assistant coach in Calgary for the past five seasons. Ryan has earned this opportunity and we are confident he is the right coach for our team.”
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