Flames Replace Fired Crisp With Risebrough
A year after winning the city’s first Stanley Cup title in 1989, the Calgary Flames were stunned in the first round of the playoffs to the Kings. The defeat ruined a season in which Calgary posted the second-best regular-season record in the NHL. It prompted the firing of Coach Terry Crisp.
Eleven days later, Friday, Doug Risebrough, already Calgary’s assistant general manager, was given the additional duty of coaching the team.
Crisp was criticized because he couldn’t command his players’ respect, but defenseman Al MacInnis said Risebrough won’t have that problem.
“There’s no question he’s going to demand a lot,” MacInnis said. “I respected him as a player, I respected him as a teammate. He was certainly one of the guys I looked up to when I broke into the league. I think a lot of guys are going to be looking forward to having him as a head coach.”
“A coach has to be himself and he can’t be anything else but that,” Risebrough said. “Certainly there’s an evolution. I have not coached behind the bench. I have to find myself in a lot of ways. There’s growth there and I’m willing to grow.”
Risebrough, 36, was a hard-nosed player for 14 seasons, nine with Montreal during which the Canadiens won four consecutive Stanley Cups. He was traded to Calgary before the 1982-83 season and remained with the club for five seasons.
After retiring in 1987, he became an assistant under Crisp and last summer was named assistant to Fletcher. He will retain that job while coaching the team under a three-year contract approved on Friday.
“It’s an important day for me,” Risebrough said.