The Calgary Flames has announced that former Bruins head coach Robbie Ftorek has been hired as an assistant coach for the AHL affiliate team, the Abbotsford Heat. Ftorek does have a rather lengthy career in professional hockey. The Massachusetts native played in four leagues(AHL, NHL, CHL, and WHA) over the course of fifteen seasons. He was an Olympic athlete that won silver for the USA back in ’72. After his career ended as a player, he chose to become a coach. His coaching career looks very similar to his playing career. His high point of his career was winning the AHL’s Calder Cup in the 1994-95 season with the Albany River Rats.
Ftorek has considerable experience coaching at the NHL level. He was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings for two seasons (’87-’88, ’88-’89), and the New Jersey Devils (’98-’99, ’99-’00) for another two. He was hired by the Boston Bruins to be their head coach at the start of ’01-02 season. He compliated a 76-52-14-13 record in his two seasons with the Bruins. The Bruins made it to the playoffs in ’01-’02, but were knocked out in the first round. Ftorek was fired late in the ’02–’03 season with only nine games remaining in the season. Ftorek is also the only NHL coach to be fired by two different teams in the final days of a winning regular season. (Devils and Bruins)
After his time in the Bruins (and the NHL) was over, he ended up back with the Albany River Rats for three more seasons. His most recent employment has been with the OHL’s Erie Otters. He coached there for six seasons. The team only made it to the playoffs three of those years, and never made it past the first round.
“In light of our commitment to rebuilding, and providing our young players with a chance to play, there is even greater importance being placed on development and getting our prospects ready to contribute as quickly as possible in Calgary,” said Flames general manager Jay Feaster. “In support of that mission, we are thrilled to be able to add such an experienced coach and teacher as Robbie Ftorek to our organization. ”
“Robbie’s experience at every level of hockey, from the CHL to the AHL to the NHL, provides our players, and our coaching staffs, an incredible wealth of hockey knowledge on which to draw, and we believe he and Troy Ward will do a great job together in developing players for the Flames.”