Flames elevate assistant Huska to head coach

The Calgary Flames have promoted assistant Ryan Huska to head coach, the team announced Monday.

It is Huska’s first job as a head coach in the NHL.

Huska, 47, has been an assistant coach with the Flames the past five seasons. He was in charge of a penalty-kill unit that ranked sixth in the NHL in 2022-23.

He replaces Darryl Sutter, fired May 1 after three seasons. The move is the first for Craig Conroy, who was named general manager three weeks ago.

“I’m honored to have earned the trust of Flames ownership, of Craig and the entire management group to coach this team,” said Huska in a statement. “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.”

Huska has been a head coach in the AHL and the WHL.

“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,” Conroy said in a statement. “Ryan has earned this opportunity and we are confident he is the right coach for our team.”

He played just one game in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks on May 1, 1998. He logged 5:51 of ice time. He was a third-round pick in the 1993 draft.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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