The Calgary Flames are set to announce the firing of head coach Bob Hartley today. Their public and private reasons will likely have something to do with Calgary’s inability to make or get past the 2nd round of the playoffs during his four year stint as Head Coach. Regardless of the reason we’re wondering — Is this a good decision or bad?
What About Bob
Bob Hartley possess many of the qualities found in the most winningest coaches in NHL history. Specifically, he’s a Virgo. Virgos are one of the two most successful signs for a head coach. They are highly intelligent and able to triage and process large amounts of information in real-time. Their coaching style tends to be more about micromanaging and optimizing each line and player — down to the last seconds of the game. Bob Hartley is no exception to this Virgo stereotype. So why couldn’t he get his Calgary Roster to bend to his will?
Flames Need More Grinders
As important as it is to have a talented coach, it is probably even more important to have the right roster of players to embrace a coach’s style. Player temperament and coach-ability factors tremendously in to the success and effectiveness of a coach.
In the case of this year’s Flames team there was an obvious point of disconnect. The Flames Roster is highly concentrated in Air signs. Specifically Aquarius. With 24% of their roster independent Aquarians, it is not surprising at all that Virgo Hartley was unable to get the results he needed.
For a Virgo coach to bring the most value, they need a team of hard working grinders and fiery fast skaters — Capricorns, Taurus, Scorpios and Leos. He needs players who will take direction and execute without questioning him. Hartley’s 2001 Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Champs were far more diversified and likely responded better to his nit picky coaching style.
The current Flames roster is filled with players who prefer to be inspired and encouraged. They are smart and methodical players. They don’t respond well to micromanaging and constant tweaks in lines or strategies. They have amazing talent but need to want to do their job, not be told how to do their job.
Flames Have No Other Choice
Calgary can’t trade their Aquarius players in for Capricorns and Leos. They need to find a Coach who knows how to work with the allocation they have. That said, they’d be wise to attract an Aquarius for their next HC. Aquarius just happen to be the other most Winning-est Coach sign. And with the Flame’s current player allocation, an Aquarius head coach could make sure they got their act together and to the playoffs by 2018… maybe even 2017!
Related: The Anaheim Ducks Allocation Problem — Did the universe want Bruce Boudreau to fail?