Remember that guy? Oh, we all remember that guy. That’s Marty Gelinas, an integral part of that magical summer of 2004, the guy who, depending on who you believe (I’ve never seen that video before, but holy shit it’s awesome), scored the series winning goal in every year during that anomalous season.
And then we never saw him again.
Dead or alive In a Flames jersey. The year ended, we had that terrible thing we all hated and still have nightmares about and will never talk about again but are probably about to suffer through for a second time, and when it ended, Gelinas, our boyfriend, was jocking the Florida Panthers. THE retirement community of the NHL. And we were all really sad about it.
But now, like a teen romance, Gelinas has come back into our lives and we’re all gushy about him again. Have we no self esteem? (We don’t)
Indeed. If you haven’t heard the news, Gelinas is the new, shiny assistant coach of your Calgary Flames, replacing fellow 2004 red headed bearded guy Dave Lowry, the same guy who was out-coached by Brendan Morrison on the power play and effectively ending his tenure with the team in that one game.
Which is good, right? Lowry was old and broken and changes needed to be made. Well, we’ve all seen the changes and let’s just say our New Hotness makes Diamond Dave not look so bad right now.
To be fair, I have no idea what kind of coach Gelinas is going to be. His coaching resume is about as deep as the fanbase of the Los Angeles Kings BEFORE the playoffs started. The residual 2004 goodwill from this move, however, runs as deep as the same fanbase since Monday night. But I do know this: With Bobby “I won a Stanley Cup on a stacked team about a decade ago” Hartley taking the reins as head coach, you sure as shit want your assisting staff to be top notch. Whether or not Gelinas is that guy remains to be seen.
To be honest, I’ve never pictured Gelinas in any kind of coaching capacity. He always had a Gary-Roberts-Yell-At-Players-And-Regulate-Their-Diet-And-Somehow-They-End-Up-Loving-You kinda capacity, the kind of guy that really helps Steve Stamkos become a star. Because aside from Marty’s knack for scoring the clutchiest of clutch goals in the playoffs (did it in Carolina too), he’s also renowned for his Jack LaLanne style fitness and conditioning. And that kind of asset is marketable. It’s useful to hockey teams. Ask Gary Roberts. But coaching is a different animal. So sure, he’s spent the past three seasons in Nashville as “Player Development Coach” which is about as black and white of a job description as Michael Jackson was black or white. Whatever Gelinas’ role was in Nashville, to this humbly intrepid young blogger, has never been clear, but if any of it translates into legitimate, tangible coaching assets, maybe we’ve got something here.
And let’s fucking hope so, because when your coaching hierarchy reads Hartley-Cloutier-Gelinas-Malarchuk, it doesn’t exactly scream “GOING FOR IT”. I do believe, or I’m making up, I don’t know, that Gelinas’ job in Nashville, whatever the fuck it was, did involve the team’s younger players, to help foster their abilities as they transition to the pros. Which could be good for Calgary, as Bob Hartley is not known for his rapport with the kids. And I think we should expect some Abbotsford tots on the Flames roster this year, if this self imposed cap we keep hearing about has any legs.
If nothing else, and until proven otherwise it’s nothing else, it just seems like as a franchise that has had early tee times for the past three seasons, this hiring is supposed to harken a disappointed fanbase back to an era where the team was so endearing and adorable and we just couldn’t help but love them. The current incarnation of this team needs a distraction from the barrage of blegh we’ve been given lately, and Gelinas makes people happy. The reaction I’ve already seen to the news suggests this is exactly what is happening.
But hey, it’s KINDA working on me too. I’ve always liked the idea of Gelly working for the Flames organization, I just never thought it would be in such a capacity. I’m not saying he’s not capable of doing it, in fact I really hope he’s more than up to the job. But for a guy like Marty, a fan favourite, you’d assume the job he’d get with the team would be a little more, let’s say “Royal Family”. A figurehead job. A “Forever a Flame” kinda thing. It’s why I love Craig Conroy in his role. He has no real power, but he’s very visible, and people like seeing him up there with that big ol’ Craig Conroy smile. Maybe if the team hired Martin Gelinas as an overtime goal scoring coach, this move would make complete sense, but for now, it’s scoring kind of a MEH on the Book of Loob’s patented Blairdometer:
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