Los Angeles Kings fans are very familiar with Darryl Sutter falling out of favor with his players, and it appeared that was the case in Calgary leading up to his exit.
In his exit interview, defensemen Nikita Zadorov all but confirmed what most people assumed. Sutter and the Flames leaders, particularly Jonathan Huberdeau, didn’t get along.
Last year, Sutter was the perfect coach for Calgary. This season, the leaders changed, and he did not suit them,” Zadorov said. “They did not find mutual understanding. When you invest $50-80 million in players, you choose in their favor.”
Zadorov wasn’t all negative about Sutter though, adding that he positively affected Zadorov.
“(Sutter) made me a better player,” said Zadorov. “I enjoyed playing under him.”
When you hire a coach like Sutter you accept that this will happen. He’s a hard coach to play for and eventually, players stop playing for him.
And given rumors that a rocky relationship with Sutter played at least some role in Matthew Tkachuk’s desire to leave, it’s no surprise that a confirmed strained relationship with his new star was the end for Sutter.
Former King and current Flame Trevor Lewis did provide a lighter story surrounding Sutter. Reinforcing a common theme of two different Sutter’s.
The coach who can be difficult to work with and burn bridges with his players and the person, who’s a genuinely nice guy.
You have to wonder what’s next for Sutter. At 64 it’s possible we’ve seen Sutter coach his last game.
Vegas Wins Game 1:
The Vegas Golden Knights just keep rolling.
They opened up the Western Conference Final with an overtime win against the Dallas Stars.
Original Golden Knight William Karlsson led the way with two goals on Friday, and Brett Howden was the surprising hero in Overtime. Banking the puck off Jake Oettinger’s back and in.
Game One of both conference finals has gone into overtime, setting up two excellent series. I still like the Stars in this series, but Vegas’ ability to roll four lines effectively makes them scary.
Add in stellar play from their two biggest stars, Jack Eichel and Mark Stone, who combined for just one point in Game One, and you have a true Cup contender.
VegasHockeyNow: Vegas’ depth showed up in a big way Friday and Bruce Cassidy deserves plaudits as well.
ColoradoHockeyNow: Coming off a career year, Mikko Rantanen is now terrorizing the World Championships.
SanJoseHockeyNow: Are we seeing a shift in how scouts approach goalies?