Calgary Coach Geoff Ward has been fired and will be replaced by Darryl Sutter. Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary Flames fired Coach Geoff Ward on Thursday night and replaced him with Darryl Sutter, who will lead the team for the second time.

The Flames announced the moves shortly after Ward coached the Flames to a 7-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Calgary went 11-11-2 under Ward this season.

Ward became the interim coach when Bill Peters resigned in November 2019 following an investigation by the team into allegations of racism and assault by Peters in the minor leagues several years earlier. Ward was formally named the coach in September 2020.

Ward went 35-26-5 in 66 games with the Flames, who beat Winnipeg in a best-of-five qualifying series last summer but lost to Dallas in the first round of the playoffs.

Sutter, 62, coached the Flames from 2002-06, winning 107 games and making two playoff appearances in three seasons. He led Calgary to the Stanley Cup final in 2004, when the Flames lost to Tampa Bay in seven games. Sutter also served as the team’s general manager from 2003-10.

Sutter, who has also coached Chicago, San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles, won Stanley Cup titles with the Kings in 2012 and 2014. He had been an adviser to Anaheim’s coaching staff since July 2019. Sutter will now be in charge of a Flames squad that sits two points behind the Canadiens for fourth place in the North Division.


RANGERS: Goaltender Igor Shesterkin is day to day because of a mild groin strain, a seemingly positive development after it looked as if the injury was more serious.

Shesterkin left a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils with six minutes left when he stretched to make a save on a 2-on-1 break. The young Russian went down without contact and had to be helped off the ice, dragging his right leg.

Coach David Quinn said he was optimistic the injury is not a long-term problem. Alexandar Georgiev is set to start for the Rangers on Saturday afternoon against New Jersey, with former Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid expected to back up.

New York is getting forward Kaapo Kakko back for Saturday’s game after he missed almost two weeks with COVID-19. The 20-year-old Finn said he was “sick a little bit but not too bad.”

BLACKHAWKS: Longtime Chicago defenseman and three-time Stanley Cup winner Brent Seabrook announced he is unable to continue playing because of injuries.

After surgeries on his right shoulder and both hips, it’s a lingering right hip issue that’s keeping Seabrook, 35, from getting back on the ice. Seabrook could remain on long-term injured reserve and not technically retire because he has three years remaining on his contract.


“Not sure it was a decision I made or my body made for me,” Seabrook said in a video news conference. “I told my body to screw off for 15 years and it finally turned around and said, ‘I’m not going to do it anymore.’”

The 6-foot-3 Seabrook was a key player and leader for Chicago for more than a decade. He had 103 goals and 361 assists in 1,114 games, plus 20 goals and 39 assists in 123 playoff appearances – all with the Blackhawks after they selected him 14th overall in the 2003 draft. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He also won a gold medal playing for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Walter Gretzky and his son, Wayne, are shown in a 1984 photo. Walter Gretzky died at age 82, his son said in a statement on Thursday night. The Canadian Press via AP

WALTER GRETZKY, the father of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has died. He was 82.

Wayne Gretzky said in a social media post Thursday night that his father battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues the past few years.

“It’s with deep sadness that Janet and I share the news of the passing of my dad,” Wayne Gretzky said. “He bravely battled Parkinson’s and other health issues these last few years, but he never let it get him down. For me, he was the reason I fell in love with the game of hockey. He inspired me to be the best I could be not just in the game of hockey, but in life.”

Walter Gretzky became a name himself, a constant in Wayne’s world. As Wayne’s star ascended, Walter remained a blue-collar symbol of a devoted hockey parent in a country filled with them.


Walter’s celebrity status increased after making a remarkable recovery from a stroke suffered in 1991. His autobiography and a 2005 made-for-TV movie told the story.

He was celebrated for far more than just fathering a superstar, however. His down-to-earth, no-airs approach to life and devotion to his family struck a chord with Canadians.

“Sometimes, I swear to you, I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming,” Walter wrote in his 2001 autobiography “Walter Gretzky. On Family, Hockey and Healing.” “Wayne says the same thing.”


BLACKHAWKS 4, LIGHTNING 3: Philipp Kurashev scored the only goal in a shootout and Chicago won at home.

Alex DeBrincat scored twice and Dominik Kubalik added a goal in regulation for the Blackhawks, who lost their first three games to the Lightning this season. Malcolm Subban made 39 saves, plus three more in the shootout.

Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn and Ryan McDonough scored for the Lightning, and Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 shots.

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