Gilbert Fired By Flames

Archived from 2002-03 season.

NHL teams

The last-place Calgary Flames fired head coach Greg Gilbert and assistant Brad McCrimmon on Tuesday, after winning just one of their past 12 games and enduring one of the worst months in team history.

"Greg liked the players, and the players liked Greg, but the coordination and what a team needs to do to be successful -- it was slipping," General manager Craig Button said. "Ultimately, that's the coach's responsibility. It's to coordinate the team, make them work in unison and work with purpose. That clearly wasn't happening."

Button said assistant GM Al MacNeil will serve as interim coach.

The Flames are in last place in the Northwest Division at 6-13-3-3; only three NHL teams have fewer points.

"We really liked him and wanted to play for him, but the fact is we weren't winning games, and we have to pay for it," Flames defenseman Denis Gauthier said. "We've got to look at ourselves in the mirror and be very disappointed for what happened."

Gilbert, who replaced Don Hay in March 2000, was the Flames' fifth coach in the past eight years and became the second NHL coach to lose his job this season. San Jose fired Daryl Sutter on Sunday.

"It's hard every time, for sure," said forward Jarome Iginla, in his ninth season with the Flames. "It's always a bit of a shock. Even if you see things coming and you know there's going to be changes, it's always a shock."

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