Cloutier hired as Hartley's right hand man
WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency
CALGARY - As expected, Bob Hartley's longtime sidekick is on his way to Calgary.
Five days after Hartley was hired as the Flames' new head coach, the team announced Tuesday that former NHL netminder Jacques Cloutier — his right-hand man in Switzerland last season—will earn his paycheques as an associate coach at the Saddledome.
Cloutier was a member of Hartley's staff with the Colorado Avalanche and also during a stint with the American Hockey League's Cornwall Aces.
“Jacques brings a wealth of hockey experience, including two Stanley Cup championships, to our coaching staff,” Hartley said in a statement. “We have been coaching partners for many years, beginning in Cornwall immediately after his playing days, another five years in Colorado and most recently in Zurich.
“He has a tremendous talent for working with professionals, from young players to veterans. Jacques and I have developed very good chemistry and I consider him the most team-oriented and loyal individual I have met in my career. He’ll be a valuable addition to our staff and to our success.”
Cloutier stopped pucks in the NHL for parts of a dozen seasons, including stints with the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks and Quebec Nordiques. He's been coaching since his retirement in 1994, including 12 years with the Avalanche.
He was part of two Stanley Cup parades in Colorado and helped coach the Zurich Lions to a National A League crown in Switzerland this spring.
When Hartley was hired last week, he hinted he'd bring Cloutier to Calgary. On Tuesday afternoon, it was made official.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Calgary Flames organization,” Cloutier said. “I’d like to thank Jay Feaster, Bob Hartley and the Flames for this opportunity. I’ve worked with Bob for many years, and I’m excited to be going back to the NHL with him in such a passionate Canadian hockey market and with such a highly regarded organization as Calgary.”