Gelinas joins Flames as assistant

Former Flames winger Martin Gelinas has joined the club as an assistant coach. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters...

Former Flames winger Martin Gelinas has joined the club as an assistant coach. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters file photo)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:30 AM ET

CALGARY - The Eliminator is returning to the Calgary Flames as an assistant coach.

Martin Gelinas, one of the heroes of the franchise’s incredible run to the 2004 Stanley Cup final, is expected to be named to the club’s coaching staff as early as Thursday, the Sun has learned.

When reached by phone Wednesday evening, Gelinas admitted he’s had discussions with the Flames about the post but wouldn’t comment further.

His addition would fill out the club’s coaching staff under new bench boss Bob Hartley, who’s also added Jacques Cloutier as associate coach and is expected to retain goalie coach Clint Malarchuk.

Gelinas, 42, has spent the last three seasons as director of player development for the Nashville Predators, working with the organization’s young players throughout their system.

A first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, Gelinas was traded a couple of months later to the Edmonton Oilers in the blockbuster deal that sent Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles and spent 18 seasons in the NHL with the Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, Flames, Florida Panthers and Predators.

Gelinas spent two seasons win the Flames, with the highlight the 2004 run in which he scored the series-clinching goal in the first three rounds, two of them in overtime.

When his career ended, the affable left-winger had racked up 309 goals and 660 points in 1,273 regular-season games. He also appeared in 147 playoff games and netted 23 goals and 56 points.

He was part of Edmonton’s 1990 Stanley Cup championship team, and reached the finals on three other occasions — Vancouver (1994), Carolina (2002) and Calgary (2004).

Gelinas retired from playing after spending the 2008-09 season with Bern in Switzerland’s top league.

He and his family made Calgary their permanent home.

It appeared the Flames were about to add Eric Veilleux to their staff on Wednesday when the Memorial Cup-winning coach — who has very close ties to Hartley — stepped down from his position with the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes.

However, Veilleux is reportedly going to coach the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak


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