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Blog Entry

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 3:18 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

Kings coach Terry Murray became the fifth head coach to be fired this season on Monday. Los Angeles was the first team, however, not to name a permanent successor upon the firing, instead naming John Stevens as the interim bench boss.

It looks like it could be a very short stint as the head man for Stevens.

Rich Hammond, who writes for team-affiliated blog L.A. Kings Insider, reported early on Tuesday that the Kings had reached out to the Flames asking for permission to speak to Darryl Sutter.

Sutter, formerly the GM of the Flames who is without a position right now, is still under contract in Calgary. Thus, the Kings had to ask for permission first.

The story then mushroomed into reports that the Kings will hire Sutter and he'll be on the bench of Thursday's game in Columbus.

The only thing giving me pause is another blog from Hammond saying it might not happen quite that fast.

If the sides work out an agreement — Sutter would also have to reach a financial agreement with the Calgary Flames, in terms of the rest of his contract — Sutter could be announced as the Kings’ coach this week, although it’s unlikely that he would be behind the bench Thursday in Columbus.

Whether it happens in time for Thursday's road game or not, this much seems pretty evident. There is so much smoke the fire must be burning and Sutter will become the next Kings coach at some point in the very near future.

It certainly wouldn't surprise his brother Brent.

“There’s a history with him and Dean [Lombardi, the Kings GM], going back to San Jose,” Brent Sutter told the Calgary Sun. “It’s not a shock to me if it does materialize.

“To me, that’s where Darryl’s niche is.”

And I don't think that's going to win over all the fans in Los Angeles. Despite the fact that Sutter has a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on his resume as Flames coach and all in all is not a bad coach, Sutter's rep was soured by his GM duties in Calgary. Plus, his teams will play in the pretty much same defensive fashion the Kings had under Murray, just with a lot more edge.

It would come down to a matter of getting a new voice to try and get to the players. That's been the theme in all the firings this season, the coaches were being tuned out by the players, so new voices were needed (another cliché I'm growing tired of). Couldn't they just all go falsetto?

It's clear that by going from Murray to Sutter, GM Dean Lombardi really wants his team to play a defensive style. He had a coach he liked in Murray and, according to Darren Dreger, Lombardi let the team know they better get their butts in gear, because he didn't want to fire Murray, a coach he originally hired.

Lombardi expressed some of the frustration publicly too, courtesy of Frozen Royalty.

“It’s simple,” said Lombardi. “It sounds cliche, but it’s true. Ultimately, the message is that they’re accountable. Unfortunately, the coach has to pay the price. But make no mistake. They’re the ones who are accountable for this.”

Lombardi also stressed that it is not just a matter of young players like Drew Doughty or Jack Johnson not raising their level of play to expected levels. Rather, the veterans get at least as much of the blame, if not more.

“In the end, it still comes down to the player getting his focus, and being the best he can be,” Lombardi explained. “With young players today, it’s a challenge. But I don’t think it’s just the young players. I think it’s been right across the board, so I’m not just pinning [this on the younger players].”

So what's your take, Kings fans and none; you like Sutter to L.A. or no?

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

@hockey: I would rather have an outsider; but I don't want interim that was on Murray's staff. I didn't think Calgary was Cup worthy in 2004. That what sticks in my mind. SJ? Yea, underachieved for sure.

These guys might be young, but they have big contracts and big expectations on them. If the soft touch doesn't work, they need a barker. If they can't handle it, too bad.  Nobody is suggesting anybody else right now either.

Carlyle? Maybe, but he's a soft touch also. Keenan? If he's mellowed from his earlier years, maybe, but he failed under Sutter GM in Calgary. Who else is out there for a mid-season hire? 



Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:11 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

Not exactly an inspiring choice.  If they must go the recently-deposed-coach route, I think Randy Carlyle would be a much better pick.  It's hard to argue with his tenure as Ducks coach prior to this season.  Other than underachieving a bit an missing the playoffs in 2009-10, the Ducks had a great run with Carlyle as coach.  Of course they've had some excellent players, but so do the Kings right now.  Whoever the new coach is, hopefully it will be someone who realizes there are better options on this team to send out on the power play than Trent Hunter.  



Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

Putting aside all the possible "reasons" for Sutter being the pick, the Kings had to make a change.  Murray lost the team, they were not listening.  I do actually believe Lombardi when he points the finger at the players and says the firing is on them for a lack of performance.
Let's remember that the Kings (with limited offensive possibilities) made first round playoff exits for two consecutive seaons.  LA brings in more fire power and between that and the Doughty contract, nobody is performing.  Expectations are high for this team, a first round exit or missing the playoffs is not going to be acceptable.
I think Murray's firing may just be the spark that lights a fire and gets this team going.



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

DL told me three years ago that Darryl Sutter is the best coach he'd ever seen.
...That's the disturbing part.   His coaching career has had more years of disappointment and failure to meet expectations than most.   He's only coached in one final too.   It's funny that Lombardi would hire him as coach again after Daryl's failure to get past the 2nd round.   He's had 6 teams that I would consider serious cup contenders in his coaching career and has only been past the 2nd round two (2) times.    This hardly seems like the type of coach to put a team over the hump.    Can he even communicate with the younger players?    He was known to burn out most players in short order, and I don't think he's a great coach for such a young team.   Tragic. 

Let the celebration of Lombardi and Sutter's reunion begin.    18-24 playoff record when they were together last time.   He nearly has as many playoff round losses with home ice as he does series victories over his coaching career.  

On the bright side, at least he's not a gm anymore.   LA currently 18th in pim/game.   I expect that pk ranking to get to the top 5 as he makes sure his team gets lots of practice.   



Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

DL told me three years ago that Darryl Sutter is the best coach he'd ever seen. I was wondering whether or not this would happen. This could work. Even though the philosophy is similar to Murray's, he will be much less tolerant and vocal about failure. Might be what they need.



Since: Jan 28, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

If you had an idea that you wanted to change coaches he should have pulled the trigger when Hitchcock was available. Would have loved to see Hitch in LA.



Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:37 pm
 

A MAJOR MISTAKE FIRING TERRY MURRAY!

WHAT A SAD DAY WHEN DEAN LOMBARDI MAKES THE MAJOR MISTAKE AND FIRES TERRY MURRAY.  WHERE IS THE PATIENCE?  THE KINGS HAVE BEEN IMPROVING YEAR AFTER YEAR SINCE MURRAY TOOK THE REIGNS.  SO WHAT IF THEY WERE NOT PLAYING WELL OF LATE?  EVERY TEAM GOES THROUGH A LOSING STREAK.  TERRY MURRAY IS A PROVEN WINNER.  WHY DO YOU THINK LOMBARDI HIRED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE?  IS LOMBARDI NOW ADMITTING HE MADE A MISTAKE?  HE WON'T BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE THE GUTS BUT I WILL SAY THIS.....LOMBARDI IS MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE IN FIRING MURRAY.  EVERYONE KNOWS I AM RIGHT ON THIS.  THE WORD HERE IS PATIENCE.  THE KINGS HAVE AN EXCELLENT DEFENSE AND GOALIE SITUATION.  THEY JUST NEED TO GET MORE FIREPOWER UP FRONT.  DON'T FORGET THEIR TOP GOAL-SCORER HAS BEEN OUT FOR A FEW GAMES.  LOMBARDI IS WRONG FOR THIS MOVE AND EVERYONE WHO IS IN THE KNOW KNOWS I AM RIGHT!



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:28 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

The Kings don't want Sutter, Lombardi just wants a buddy back.   Small world in hockey front offices.   Dean Lombardi married Bob Pulford's (former Hawks gm/pres/yes man/and hole-digger) daughter.   Pulford had hired Daryl Sutter for a long time in Chicago in the early 90s as an assistant and a coach.   Pulford was gm of the Blackhawks when D. Sutter was still a player and captain of the Hawks.   Pulford and Daryl Sutter were very close and I'm sure the relationship between Lombardi and Pulford's daughter made Daryl Sutter close to Lombardi.   There's an over simplified history of how they knew each other decades ago, there were many interactions personally and professionally over the last decade + as well.   Old-school, buddy-types.

I think this will be the last coaching hire Lombardi gets in LA.   I'm not the biggest Sutter fan.



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Kings closing on replacing Murray with D. Sutter

Why in the heck would the Kings want Sutter as a coach?  They should try a few assistant coaches out there... or even a few Atom or Peewee coaches first.

Rick Bowness would be a good coach.  There must be someone within their organization who could come up. 


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