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Playfair to return to Heat

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have exercised the club option for Jim Playfair to serve again as the head coach of the Abbotsford Heat, the official American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames.

Playfair has spent the past two seasons as the Heat bench boss accumulating a 77-61-22 record for a .555 winning percentage. He guided the team to its first-ever playoff berth in 2009-10, making it to the North Division Finals.

Playfair joined the Calgary Flames coaching staff in January 2003 as an assistant coach, a position he held until being named the Calgary Flames head coach for the 2006-07 season. As the Flames head coach, he amassed a 43-29-10 record and a berth in the Western Conference Quarter-Finals. He then went on hold the position of associate coach with the Flames for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons before being named as the Head Coach of the Abbotsford Heat on June 4, 2009.

This is Playfair’s second stint as a head coach in the American Hockey League. Playfair was appointed head coach of the Saint John Flames on August 10, 2000 – he spent three seasons in that position. During the 2000-01 season, his first behind the bench in Saint John, Playfair led Saint John to their first American Hockey League Calder Cup championship and was named the Minor League Professional Coach of the year by The Hockey News.

The 47-year old native of Fort St. James, B.C., played nine seasons of professional hockey including 21 games in the National Hockey League with the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks.