The Calgary Flames won’t be changing any of their coaching staff after a successful 2018-19 season, but their American Hockey League affiliate is in the market for a new goalie coach. We’ve confirmed that Colin Zulianello has left the Stockton Heat after three seasons with the club.
Our pal Kevin Woodley of In Goal Magazine originally reported this back before the NHL Draft.
Unexpected goalie coach opening as Colin Zulianello is leaving the Calgary Flames AHL/development job for family reasons
— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) June 18, 2019
Originally from the Thunder Bay area in Ontario, the 40-year-old Zulianello became a coach following retirement from his playing career. He played four seasons with Colorado College, then bounced around minor pro with stops in the AHL (Springfield) and the ECHL (Mississippi, Augusta, Charlotte, Long Beach, San Diego, Idaho and Las Vegas). He coached with Lakehead University and elsewhere in his local area before joining the Heat prior to the 2016-17 season.
As goalie coach, Zulianello worked with the following nine minor league netminders:
Being a minor league goalie coach is tough, as the gig is hard to evaluate numerically; you’re primarily teaching goalies new to pro hockey how to adjust their approaches to things while they play behind defensemen who are also new to pro hockey. Stockton’s goaltending numbers have rarely been sparkling, but the Flames have also been routinely poaching the likes of Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Juuso Valimaki for their NHL needs. But you can’t argue with how Zulianello helped get Rittich ready for prime time.
No reason for Zulianello’s departure was provided, so we won’t speculate. Based on his website, it appears he’ll be continuing to operate his goaltending school in Ontario. While the Flames only had NHL goalie coach Jordan Sigalet tending to the netminders at development camp, it’s reasonable to presume that the Heat will likely have somebody in place for training camp in September.