The Los Angeles Kings have announced that Darryl Sutter has signed a multi-year deal as head coach, taking over for the recently fired Terry Murray (the fifth of six NHL coaches to be fired this season- Habs’ Jacques Martin was fired this morning). Due to immigration issues, Sutter will not arrive in L.A. until Monday, but will be properly introduced as head coach at a news conference on Tuesday. Sutter spent his entire NHL playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1979-1987, and reached a career-high 40 goals in the 80-81 season.
He has coached 12 seasons in the NHL: three with the Blackhawks (1992-1995), six with San Jose (1997-2003), and three more with the Calgary Flames, the team he led to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. He stepped down in 2006, after deciding that it was too difficult being both GM and Coach of the Flames. His brother Brent Sutter took over in 2009 after leaving his job as coach of the New Jersey Devils. This will be Darryl’s first appearance as a coach since the 05-06 season. He is supposed to be a very tough, no BS kind of a coach unlike the very easy-going Terry Murray, which will hopefully be enough to give the team the wake up call they desperately need. Gotta say, he doesn’t look like the happiest dude, at least in photographs, but then again he really only has one facial expression:
The Kings (14-13-4) snapped a five game losing streak Thursday night against the worst team in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-18-4). Tonight’s matchup will not be as easy, as they take on the Detroit Red Wings (19-10-1) who have won 7 of their last 10 games. Interim coach John Stevens will be coaching for the rest of the road trip which ends after Monday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (16-12-3). Stevens is likely to remain on the coaching staff at least for the rest of the season, but no official word about what will become of assistant coach Jamie Kompon.
Here’s a look at the guys from NHL on the Fly weighing in on the firing of Murray and the future of the L.A. Kings. They sure didn’t hold anything back:
Craig Button needs to settle down, I think I’m offended.