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Stop It! Darryl Sutter Isn’t Coming To Vegas

Well, I guess we must go through this again. The same darn conversations followed Claude Julien’s release in Boston. Now, it’s Darryl Sutter, a two-time Stanley Cup winning coach getting the axe in LA. The writing was on the wall for Sutter and now another strong candidate is open to talk with George McPhee. Before we speculate Sutter’s direction, let’s just cut the cord now. Darryl Sutter will not be the head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.

I feel like I’m that negative uncle you see a few times a year and he’s always just a complete asshat. You know, when you introduce the girl of your dreams and Uncle Sour comments out loud that the last girlfriend was hotter. That’s how I feel. I’m here to deflate people’s excitement, and it sucks, but every once in a while Uncle Sour’s pessimistic brain says something that sticks with you. Let’s hope this is that.

The first and most important reason the Golden Knights won’t hire Sutter is the price tag. The Kings paid the Cup winning coach $3M a year. His starting price is already too pricey for The Creator. With the abundance of jobs and the Babcock trickle-down effect, Sutter could easily make upwards of $4M a season. He will not be offered that much in Las Vegas.

“That’s probably a lot for us. I’ll tell you what we really want. George McPhee’s going to make the call. My call is going to be, is this a guy I can work with feel comfortable with. All the people we have in this organization keep their egos in check they are about winning hockey games or making a successful business. -The Creator on 2/10/17

That’s not enough? You could call Sutter a late bloomer of some sorts. His last five and a half seasons behind the bench were much more successful than his previous 12. Sutter finally tasted the celebration champagne and he’s not ready to rinse his flute. The Golden Knights will not be in position to make a run until Sutter is past 60 years-old. I’m not trying to age-shame anybody but let’s face it, not many coaches over the age of 60 go on to win the Cup. And just stop right now screaming the name Scotty Bowman into your phone as you read this. It’s Scotty effing Bowman for crying out loud, the man is a God D*** legend, and even for him winning at 68 years-old is an amazing story. Badger Bob Johnson was the only other coach to win the cup after 60 in the past 50 years. My point is Sutter won’t wait until he’s collecting Social Security to compete again. Here’s a text Sutter sent last year to Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman before he signed his extension with LA. He doesn’t sound like a coach looking to develop a franchise. 

Still looking at what our team will potentially look like next season with (free agents), salary cap and kids still playing with (AHL) club in Ontario. Coached long time and a lot of playoff games, so number one for me is to continue to do that. -Sutter

Money, age, and competition. What that’s not enough? C’mon I can’t believe people are still arguing against this.

Fine, let’s talk system. The Kings won two cups under Sutter’s big, physical, demanding brand of hockey. Los Angeles has now suggested they want to change philosophies and add more skill and speed. The new NHL. If the Pacific division Kings are looking to evolve, what makes you think GM George McPhee wants an aging style? (Oh and by the way, McPhee has said time after time he wants a fast brand of hockey. He even used the word “progressive” once.)

Admittedly, I’m unfairly tough on Sutter’s system. In reality had the Kings made the postseason and won a series, Sutter wouldn’t be available. Jonathan Quick’s injury, Anze Kopitar’s low numbers, and other decisions “exposed” Sutter’s coaching. The fit just isn’t there for Sutter in Las Vegas. The Creator told us as much in February right after he put down Stanley the Golden Rooster.

It’s best for us if we can find a coach that can carry us from day one. The expansion draft, amateur draft, opening night, to five or six years when we’re real contenders. I don’t want a three year guy. I’d just say we want a guy that’s gong to be with us for the long haul. Someone who is a players coach that’s what George is looking for… and an owner’s coach too. – The Creator

Doesn’t sound like a description of Darryl Sutter to me.

I understand the instant reaction when a Cup winning coach is let go, but it’s time to really examine each coach. The Golden Knights are not far from announcing their coach. Yesterday we listed coaches that could work with the player development Vegas has planned. It’s time we start paying attention to the candidates that match the Golden Knights criteria. Julien, Sutter, Hitchcock, Bowman and Lemaire don’t exactly fit on the Las Vegas strip. They fit in Toronto with HOF plaques.

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12 Comments

  1. James

    @Jason Pothier
    ‘The first and most important reason the Golden Knights won’t hire Sutter is the price tag. The Kings paid the Cup winning coach $3M a year. His starting price is already too pricey for The Creator.’

    The cost of doing business: It’s not an outrageous sum. The Arizona Coyotes are not exactly flush with money, but Tippett is getting $4 million a season.

    ‘The Golden Knights will not be in position to make a run until Sutter is past 60 years-old.’

    Bill Belichick (age 64 years) and Gregg Popovich (age 68 years) are still going strong.

    ‘Fine, let’s talk system. The Kings won two cups under Sutter’s big, physical, demanding brand of hockey. Los Angeles has now suggested they want to change philosophies and add more skill and speed. The new NHL. If the Pacific division Kings are looking to evolve, what makes you think GM George McPhee wants an aging style? (Oh and by the way, McPhee has said time after time he wants a fast brand of hockey. He even used the word “progressive” once.)’

    Fair enough, different strokes for different folks

  2. PhiSig 150

    All of the head coach candidates you listed in your roundup we’re in their early to mid 50s except Bylsma. Ruff is almost the same age as Sutter. Not sure how much age is going to factor into the hiring process. Money appears to be a big factor which I still think is a shame. I can see style of play being the main factor. Although the style Foley wants seems to me to conflict with his playoff timeframe. Isn’t it much easier to construct that “aging” “big physical demanding brand of hockey” playoff team than find players that can play with the speed and skill Foley wants? Doesn’t putting together a high scoring team mean that Foley will have to remain even more patient? Isn’t every one in the NHL looking for these types now? Maybe if the league is zigging we should zag. Not that I’m against slowly building a top offensive team (Hinkie on Ice, baby!) Although I also could get behind a new era Broad Street Bullies (Vegas Strip Savages?) too. A players coach who will around 6+ years down the line that can be progressive but keep his ego in check screams to me dude in his 40s first time head coach maybe even recently retired player. But he also has to have head coaching experience. So who knows. It’ll all be a moot point because no matter who is hired, if the Knights don’t make the playoffs in 5 or sooner will be shown the door anyway (Sutter will only be 63 or so by then).

  3. James

    @Jason Pothier
    Admittedly, I’m unfairly tough on Sutter’s system. In reality had the Kings made the postseason and won a series, Sutter wouldn’t be available. Jonathan Quick’s injury, Anze Kopitar’s low numbers, and other decisions “exposed” Sutter’s coaching. The fit just isn’t there for Sutter in Las Vegas.

    I think Sutter’s system is better suited for the postseason (lower scoring, closer games), they struggle to score in the regular-season. Sutter’s system is also taxing on the body (82 regular-season games). I agree, the fit just isn’t there for Sutter in Las Vegas. Sutter isn’t renown for player development

    • Phisig150

      To make the playoffs quickly you have to sacrifice player development. Focus on player development then you have push back your expectations of making the playoffs. You rarely can do both at the same time unless you are the perfectly run franchise like the Spuss. I much rather put the focus for the time being on accumulating young talent and then developing them the right way. The playoffs will come later and hopefully by then twe will have pipeline of young talent established that we can tap into routinely. Playoffs in 3 is just so short-sighted to me. So give me your best candidates for player development James.

      • Phisig150

        *Spurs*

      • James

        @Phisig150
        ‘So give me your best candidates for player development James.’

        Look toward the lower levels of hockey, where they work with youth. Jim Montgomery (age 47) – The University of Denver, Travis Green (age 46 years) of the Utica Comets and Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Marlies (age 36 years) don’t fit McPhee’s criteria due to zero NHL head coaching experience. It’s hard to look past his poor stint in Edmonton, but Dallas Eakins of the San Diego Gulls (age 50 years) fits the bill.

        Personally, I think McPhee will select a safe choice. Hit a single or a double, not swing for the fences. He could strikeout if he looks toward the lower levels of hockey. It’s a risky proposition. Some NHL head coaching experience is required. He doesn’t want to worry about changing the coach for a while.

  4. R.J.

    As a Kings fan, who will also be rooting for the Knights, I have to say Sutter’s style is not for everyone. Like James said, it’s a good system for the post-season, where you can wear down your opponents easier, after they’ve already went through an 82 game season. I love Coach Sutter. Will always praise him for getting my team 2 Stanley Cups. But, he’s not what Las Vegas is looking for. I personally think Gerard Gallant would be perfectas the Knight’s 1st coach. He’s player-friendly, and I think he could get a lot out of what the Knights give him to work with.

  5. I agree with Jason. Sutter is not the right coach for the Knights. I actually think that Sutter may be done coaching anyway.

  6. TIMOTHY

    I still prefer Gallant.. but no way on your Jack from island of New York.

  7. Slack

    For the love of Toe Blake, I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would think Sutter is in any way right for this team. Pass.

  8. James

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – I keep hearing Lindy Ruff mentioned.

  9. R.J.

    Just hearing on 1340 AM KRLV that there’s possibly an announcement coming tomorrow about the hiring of a Head Coach? Must have snagged someone quick over the last few days!

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