Brent Sutter was introduced as the new Head Coach of the Calgary Flames today; the 4th Head Coach in the past 5 seasons. As well Ryan McGill, Dave Lowry, and Jamie McClennan were named as Assistant coaches. A decision met with a lot of scepticism by the local media and fanbase, the Flames now have 5 Sutter’s working within the organization. General Manager Darryl, Director of Player Personnel Duane, Western Pro Scout Ron, Player Brett, and now Head Coach Brent. I guess there will be less arguing during Christmas dinner as to who is cheering for whom.
Brent has been the head coach of the Devils for the past two seasons leading them to respectable point totals of 99 and 105. Both seasons though they bowed out in the first round; 08’ to the Rangers, 09 to the Hurricanes. So how is a guy who has never been past the first round himself expecting to take a team of veterans to the Promised Land?
Let us look at what he has accomplished.
He turned a perennial “trap” team into a more high flying scoring presence moving their Goals For ranking from the 27th to the 15th ranked team averaging 2.9 goals per game. Due in part to the emergence of Zach Parise, who Sutter helped turn into one of the best and most exciting young players in the game. He also managed to sustain a great defensive system in keeping the Devils in the top 5 in Goals Allowed per game. Can Brent bring a similar style of defensive play to the Flames organization?
One definite upside for the pessimistic Flames fan these days is that Brent has worked with Dion Phaneuf before. He coached Dion for four seasons in Red Deer and, hopefully, knows how to get the most out of #3. Considering Dion was hurt a majority of the year with two sore hips and broken ribs near the end, I would say he will be raring to go regardless who is behind the bench. Given the fact that Dion and Brent share a closer bond than the previous coach (Iron Mike), I would say it is nothing but a positive sign going forward for energetic talent filled defensemen.
Darryl, Brent and Ken King all made it clear that having one more Sutter makes no difference and that there will be no special treatment for Brent, given the personal ties.
Darryl is the GM, Brent is the Coach, last names do not matter, is roughly what was repeated over and over.
Either way, I am not overly pleased or exceedingly disgruntled with the hire. My guess would be is that another mediocre season results in the same drivel us die hard Flames fans have come to expect come spring time. And unless the Flames crash and burn and miss the playoffs then we are stuck with the Viking Flames for some time to come.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames