Gelinas will join new head coach Bob Hartley, assistant coach Jacques Cloutier and goaltending coal Clint Malarchuk for the 2012-13 season.
He was director of player development for the Nashville Predators for the past three seasons.
"When this came about and I had this opportunity, it was a tough decision because I’m leaving a franchise where in Nashville I was treated very well where David Poile (Predators GM) is a great man and treated me like family," Gelinas said on Thursday.
Gelinas played 20 seasons in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Predators and Flames. He won a Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1990.
He spent two seasons with the Flames from 2002 to 2004. During Calgary's run to the Stanley Cup final in 2004, Gelinas scored three goals that clinched a playoff series win, including two in overtime.
"After the 2004 run, it was a dream of mine to come back and work for this organization," said Gelinas. "Calgary’s home for me. It’s always been since I left."
It was Craig Conroy, the special assistant to general manager Jay Feaster, who recommended his former Flames teammate for the job.
"Inside I’m doing backflips," said Conroy. "I’m thinking, wow, this is great. I was just so happy. I thought that this is a great fit. He’s exactly everything that we’re looking for. I’m just happy he decided to take the job."
Feaster says he expects Gelinas to be work closely with Hartley on power-play strategies.
"I know that (Hartley) has already spoken to him that he wants him heavily involved in the special teams both on the power-play and the penalty kill," said Feaster.