Bob Hartley says he’s only trying to get the best out of his players.



He may be demanding, but he’s not a bully, the Calgary Flames head coach fired back Tuesday.

Scott Parker, a former NHL tough guy nicknamed ‘The Sheriff’ who played under Hartley over four seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, was quoted in a Denver Post article calling out his former coach for allegedly degrading and belittling him.

In Adrian Dater’s Post article published Sunday that focused on the effects of concussions, Parker claims Hartley used his position of authority to threaten him with a demotion to the minors after the rookie said he needed a night off from scrapping to recover.

“He was a junior B goalie trying to tell me how to fight. He was always just degrading me. Not to be a (wimp), but he was a bully,” Parker, who claims to have suffered 20 to 25 concussions during his career, said in the article. “I remember I thought I had a broken foot and told him about it, and he called me a (expletive) and said (AHL affiliate) Hershey would love me. Nobody needed to question my commitment to doing my job. But I was just constantly belittled by Bob Hartley.”

After a couple days without comment, the current Flames head coach responded Tuesday.

“I was made aware of that report long ago,” Hartley said after Flames practice at the Saddledome. “All of us, all coaches, but I’ll speak for myself since my name is there — we set expectations, we create standards. There’s not a player that I’ve coached that

I didn’t try to make better. I’ve never bullied no one.

“I might be a demanding coach, but I want the best for my players. I’ll leave it at this. For me, it’s the end of the story.”