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Huska to coach top Flames' affiliate

Ryan Huska (standing on bench)
Ryan Huska (standing on bench)
Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

According to CBC on Tuesday, the Calgary Flames have named Ryan Huska as the head coach of the Adirondack Flames, the top minor league hockey team for the Flames in the American Hockey League. Huska replaces Troy Ward who coached the Abbotsford Heat last season. The Flames recently discontinued their relationship with Abbotsford and moved their affiliate to Glens Falls, New York.

Huska, who is from Cranbrook, British Columbia, has been the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League since the 2007-08 season. In 2008-09, the Rockets won the WHL Championship and lost the Memorial Cup championship game 4-1 to the Windsor Spitfires. Prior to being the head coach of the Rockets for the last seven seasons, Huska was the Rockets' assistant coach for five years.

During his time as the Rockets' head coach, Kelowna reached the .500 or better mark each season. Over the last two years, the Rockets have posted a strong record of 109-27-8 under Huska's leadership.

As a player, Huska played one game in the National Hockey League with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997-98 regular season. Huska, who was drafted by the Blackhawks as a center in the third round, 73rd overall in the 1993 National Hockey League Entry Draft, also played four seasons for the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League, three seasons with the Indianapolis Ice of the International Hockey League and a season each with the Lowell Lock Monsters and the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

At 38 years old, Huska was praised by Flames general manager Brad Treliving for being a strong teacher and communicator. Huska also brings a winning culture to the Adirondack franchise having won three Memorial Cups as a player with the Blazers and a .819 winning percentage last season as the head coach of the Rockets.