Hartley was originally rumored to go to the Montreal Canadiens, but many media sources earlier in the week flat out were incorrect with their poor reporting.
Hartley has had tremendous success as a head coach. He has an overall record of 329-226-95 in eight seasons coaching the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2008. In 2001, he led the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup Championship over the New Jersey Devils and in 2007 led the Thrashers to their only playoff appearance in franchise history.
This past season he led the ZSC Lions to a Swiss championship and last week was an advisor to the Shawinigan Cataractes in their Memorial Cup Championship. Hartley was also under contract to the Lions for another season, and the Lions were reportedly very disappointed that their star coach had decided to join the NHL. But the Flames and Hartley were able to come to an agreement on a release last night and Hartley was able to sign a three year contract.