Friday, December 15, 2006

Coach Jimmy and his style

The Calgary Flames have a new head coach this year after Darryl Sutter moved into being the GM full-time. Jim Playfair spent 3 years as Sutter's assistant, spending the 3 years prior to that being the head coach of the now defunct St. John's Flames (now in Omaha with former Kootenay Ice main man, Ryan McGill heading up the team).

Drafted 1st round, 20th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1982 Entry Draft, Coach Jimmy only played in the NHL for 21 games with his draft team and then with the Chicago Blackhawks. A retinal injury forced early retirement for Playfair in '91-'92 season. Jim's brother, Larry, had a more illustrious career playing 688 games in the NHL.

Coach Jimmy faced criticism early this year when the Flames had a bad start to the season and many fans questioned his abilities as the bench boss. Once the team picked it up and started winning, everyone seems to be okay with the decision of putting him there.

What I find most intriguing about Coach Jimmy is his choice of ill-fitting suits and outdated hair style. Photo exhibits to follow...

On the day of the announcement from

“I consider Jim Playfair as one of the top young coaches in our league today with more experience than the majority of that group,” said Sutter. “Jim has won at every level, both as a player and a coach, he is well prepared and well deserving of this opportunity. I think we have a great team and I think now we have a great coach."
Playfair said the Flames will remain the Flames. In other words, he won't be changing the style of play. He will be reinforcing what Sutter has instilled since arriving in Calgary. "Our team is hungry. Our team is focused. I like the mind set of our players," said Playfair.
What was said had the best intentions, I'm sure, but there have been some kinks that are working out. Even though he is trying to keep that Sutter style of hockey, he's doing it in his way and the players are adjusting to it. The first few games were a little shaky but I believe Coach Jimmy is becoming more confident in his role as head coach.

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