‘I thought we also needed a coaching change’: MacKenzie Weegar on Darryl Sutter, Brad Treliving, and the future

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
11 months ago
The Darryl Sutter saga seems to be never-ending surrounding his most recent season with the Calgary Flames. Although the team managed to recover their record enough to make the end interesting, they ended up missing the playoffs, and as a result, it cost Sutter his job and resulted in general manager Brad Treliving leaving the organization.
It’s very rare we get to hear players speak candidly on things like this that surround the organization, but MacKenzie Weegar made his opinion heard on Monday’s edition of the Missin Curfew podcast.
Weegar made his opinion heard loud and clear that he thought it was time for Sutter to go. Even though he doesn’t wish anyone was let go from their job, he understands that this business is about results, and given all of the chaos surrounding the team this season, he felt it was the right time.
“It’s sad to see [Brad Treliving and Sutter] go. You never want to see anybody go. It just means that the season was tough,” Weegar said. “For Brad to step down and get a change, I think that’s what he needs, and personally, I’ll be the first one to say it is I thought we also needed a coaching change. I’m excited to see what happens in the future here.”
Sutter has a reputation for not being able to find the right balance between motivating his players and crossing a line. Everyone in the hockey world knows he’s an old-school guy with a more harsh approach than many other coaches, and Weegar addressed that as well, saying that he would occasionally pick on people. Mikael Backlund was the one that stuck out to Weegar.
“[Backlund] would get it pretty good, but he would fight back for sure. He would have a couple of ‘eff you” matches, and it’s always good to talk about those after the game and laugh about it,” Weegar said. “But I think Darryl drafted him, and he’s coached him for a long, long time. They have a different relationship that nobody can speak about, it’s just those two, and good for Backlund and good for Darryl. Sometimes that gave us a spark. I think everybody has gotten into a little altercation with Darryl once in their lifetime, but sometimes it was needed. Sometimes he pushed those buttons that needed to be pushed, and after the game, they were fun to look back on.”
There’s plenty of talk around the fanbase about Backlund being the leader in the race for the team’s next captain, so it’s not really a surprise he’d be able to take the heat well.
Sutter’s firing felt inevitable, and hearing a player speak about the situation without much filter is a very rare occurrence. Nonetheless, there’s plenty to look forward to in the future, and Weegar expressing that optimism should be the first thing we take out of it.

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