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.