To no one’s surprise, Brent Sutter made his departure from the Devil’s organization official today. I think we can all agree that his appearing behind the Flames bench in the near future is a fait accompli, yes? The question is: will it be for this coming season or the next? TSN reports that Lamoriello cannot ask for compensation from the Flames under the auspices of this CBA, but is within his rights to refuse to allow Sutter out of his final year (and thus to coach anywhere else this coming season).
I personally find it hard to believe Lucky Lou will stick it to Sutter or the Flames out of spite or hurt feelings, so there’s little doubt in my mind (and in the minds of intelligent others) that Brent will be hired to helm the Flames before the month is out.
If the unlikely happens and the cagey old GM sticks to his guns, expect the elder brother to coach the team in the interim – no point in hiring a guy who would doubtlessly be a lame duck the second he stepped into the building.
Besides his various siblings and close proximity to home, Brent has a number of connections to the Flames organization. He coached Dion Phaneuf during his time as a Junior for the Red Deer Rebels and was likely instrumental in pointing the Flames in his direction on draft day. He also played Dustin Boyd on Canada’s top line during the ’05 WJC, where the team (of course) won gold. Jim Vandermeer was also a player under Brent in Junior.
The fit in Calgary is such a natural one that I wondered aloud back in March why Brent wasn’t the Flames coach instead. Turns out I was just few months early.