Flames promote assistant Ryan Huska to head coach

Ryan Huska has been named head coach of the Calgary Flames after spending five years as an assistant with the club.

Ryan Huska is taking over behind the Calgary Flames' bench. (Getty Images)
Ryan Huska is taking over behind the Calgary Flames' bench. (Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames have found their new bench boss.

Ryan Huska was named the 24th coach in franchise history on Monday, replacing Darryl Sutter behind the bench. ESPN's Kevin Weekes first reported the news on Friday.

Huska spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach for the Flames working under Sutter, Geoff Ward and Bill Peters. He was most recently in charge of Calgary's penalty kill, which ranked sixth in the NHL last season.

"Following a detailed search process, today we are proud to introduce Ryan Huska as head coach of the Calgary Flames," GM Craig Conroy said in a statement. "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."

This is the 47-year-old's first job as a head coach in the NHL, having spent four seasons as bench boss for Calgary's AHL affiliate before joining the Flames. He also spent some time coaching the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, notably guiding them to a Memorial Cup berth in 2009.

The Flames fired Sutter on May 1 after missing the playoffs for the second time in his three-year tenure as head coach. They also have a new general manager in Craig Conroy, taking over for Brad Treliving after a nine-year run in the front office.