Flames tap Jordan Sigalet as new goaltending coach
Former ’tender, who overcame the limitations of MS to play for the Boston Bruins in 2006, eager to guide Calgary’s netminders
Bracing himself for a lateral cross-country move to Glens Falls, N.Y. — but holding out hope for relocation (and, ideally, a promotion) to the east side of the Rocky Mountains — Jordan Sigalet had his wish granted.
And, after nearly an entire off-season of searching, the Calgary Flames finally found their new goaltending coach. But it turns out they didn’t have to look far.
Sigalet had been in the same role with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford for the past two seasons before becoming the team’s newest member of the coaching staff on Tuesday.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled about it,” Sigalet was saying, calling from his Lynden, Wash., home where he lives with wife Lindsay and two young children, Jaxon and Maddox. “I didn’t know which direction I was going to go. I was looking at moving to New York and to Calgary over the last two months.
“That was my goal was to start as a development guy and work my way into an NHL role. Going through the interview process, you’re up against some really good candidates. The one thing I lacked was NHL goalie coaching experience.”
Yes, this happens to be his first National Hockey League gig.
Yet, despite his resume, Sigalet is more than familiar with the Flames goaltending stable which includes returning netminder Karri Ramo, who was the big club’s No. 1 at the end of 2013-14, free agent veteran Jonas Hiller, and up-and-comer Joni Ortio who spent 37 games with the Heat last year.
The scouting reports have been done and now, with the ink dried on his first NHL coaching contract, he is anxious to get started.
“Through the whole interview process, I watched a lot of games and game tape on both of those guys (Hiller and Ramo) so I was prepared and I could speak about both,”said Sigalet who had been with the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips as their goalie coach for two seasons before joining the Flames top-affiliate. “So, I’ve definitely watched a lot on both of them. I know Karri a little bit from being at camp last year. I think it’s going to be a great one-two punch with those guys. They’re going to push each other.”
Sigalet replaces Clint Malarchuk who parted ways with the club in March after three seasons and joins the Flames bench which includes Hartley, associate coach Jacques Cloutier, assistant coach Martin Gelinas, skills coach Domenic Pittis, and video coach Jamie Pringle.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during his college years at Bowling Green University, and being a role model for many along the way, Sigalet made one 43-second NHL appearance in 2006 with the Boston Bruins — nearly three years after being told by doctors that he’d never play hockey again.
He’d been drafted 209th overall by the Bruins in 2001 and went onto play two seasons with the Providence Bruins before ending his playing career in Vienna, Austria in 2009.
He made the transition into coaching and, after two years in the minors, he feels ready to make the jump.
“100 per cent,” said the 33-year-old who is only one year older than Hiller. “Obviously, it’s a big step and I’m young and I’m going to be working with goalies that are close to my age. I think that’s exciting and we’re going to match up really well.
“I think my communication skills, my abilities as a teacher, being fairly fresh out of the game, those are going to be the things that are going to help me with those guys.”
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