With the firing of Mike Keenan and the letting go of the rest of the coaching staff, the Flames now sit with a vacant coaching staff. In Sutter’s press conference yesterday he mentioned that there are three qualified people in line for the Head Coach position and a fourth, Darryl himself. He stated that he was the best candidate for the position and if he can not find anyoneelse suitable than he would take the reins.
Well let us look at the possible candidates:
Darryl Sutter: He guided the cinderella dream team of 2004 to within one win of the Holy Grail. He built this team the way he wanted to and now has the opportunity to get behind the wheel. He stepped upstairs after the 06’ season because the workload was too heavy to do both jobs. Does this mean he would do the reverse and step down as GM and take on full coaching responsibilities or play the dual role? Either way, he knows the team better than anyone.
Brent Sutter: He coached the last two seasons in New Jersey where he turned a perennial defensive minded team into an exciting puck moving group. Ousted in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row, he has not proven himself at the NHL level yet and complains of being homesick in New Jersey. Knowing he would be happy in Calgary is he the right guy for the Flames? Not underestimating his coaching abilities, do we really need or want another Sutter in Calgary?
Ryan McGill: Just released of his duties for Calgary’s AHL affiliate, he spent two years with the Baby Flames and led them to respectable plus .500 campaigns both years. With ZERO head coaching experience at the NHL level, he does not seem like the guy to step in and take over a team of veteran players. Seems to me like the Flames would be getting into another year of “Playfair-esque” hockey where discipline is very low and the respect factor just might not be there. He needs a young in-experienced team that’s looking for new blood, not a veteran squad poised to make a run.
Peter Laviolette???: A Cup winner just 3 years ago, this great hockey mind finds himself unemployed and looking for work. Here is a guy who would come in with a new way of thinking and a man who garners respect immediately. Laviolette has won a cup, but some call it a freak incident as he missed the playoffs his other three years with the team and then was fired late in the 2009 campaign. No doubt a qualified candidate, but is he right for the Flames organization?
In my mind these are the four candidates Darryl and Ken King are looking at, and Darryl stated that he will have someone in place by the draft. Bottom line is, no one knows this team better than Darryl Sutter himself and no one is more suitable to take the job. He needs to finish what he has started and take absolute control of the team. He can hire a better assistant GM to facilitate some of the GM’s tasks, and so he can fully commit himself to the Head Coaching position. He needs to hire a Power Play specialist, hopefully someone from Detroit will be looking for work, to show the top players how a “non-static” power play is run. This is what needs to happen! This will put Sutter on the hot seat, and either makes him a legend forever etched in the minds of Calgarians or makes him the GOAT in a town of full of cows.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames