CALGARY, Alberta – The Calgary Flames removed the “interim” tag from Geoff Ward's job and made him the NHL club's head coach.
Ward was promoted from associate coach Nov. 29. Bill Peters resigned amid allegations of racism when he coached in the minor leagues.
A .500 team at that time, the Flames rallied from the controversy to go 25-15-3 under Ward.
Calgary was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in six games by the Dallas Stars.
The Flames downed the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in the best-of-five qualifying round to advance.
Brodin signs 7-year extension
The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension Tuesday, making another long-term commitment to a key piece of their blue line group. Brodin's new deal will begin with the 2021-22 season and carry a $6 million annual cap charge through 2027-28.
The 27-year-old native of Sweden, who was drafted by the Wild with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, had a career-high 26 assists in 69 games in the virus-shortened season. He led the team with 112 blocked shots and was second on the club with a plus-15 rating.
Brodin has played in 171 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the Wild. He's sixth on their all-time list with 555 games played, trailing current fellow defensemen Jared Spurgeon (third) and Ryan Suter (fourth).
Kitchen not back with Panthers
Assistant coach Mike Kitchen will not return to the Florida Panthers next season among a series of staffing changes.
Canada's TSN reported Kitchen kicked a Panthers player on the bench during a game in January and the team held an internal investigation. A team spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation.
Kitchen oped out of coaching in the NHL's postseason for personal reasons, saying in July: “It was a difficult decision to say the least but the right decision for me and my family.” The 64-year-old rejoined coach Joel Quenneville behind the bench this season for the first time since 2016-17, and the two won the Stanley Cup together twice with Chicago.
TSN reported Quenneville and former general manager Dale Tallon were notified of the incident after the game. The team did not renew Tallon's contract and last month hired Bill Zito as its new GM.