Jakob Pelletier takes dig at former coach Darryl Sutter after question about his new jersey number

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
7 months ago
Change was bound to be fast approaching after the events of last season. One of those changes was sending former Jack Adams winning coach Darryl Sutter to the free agent coaching market and promoting Ryan Huska to take his place behind the bench.
There were plenty of things that came out in the media about the well-known yet mostly disliked coaching tactics that Sutter employs, but one incident occurred in a post-game press conference that irked plenty of the fans.
Sutter forgot what number Jakob Pelletier, who made his NHL debut that night, wore.
Of course, Sutter’s consistent demeanor suggests that this could have been a joke, but at the end of the day, putting a rookie who just made his debut (that it was reported later Sutter didn’t even want to play) in the spotlight in that manner is poor leadership.
But Pelletier gave his former coach a good, light-hearted jab in a recent interview, citing that his number change was due to the fact that number 22 is easier to remember than number 49.
Pelletier is in line to have a big season in 2023-24. With Huska now behind the bench and a system focused on speed and offensive play in place, someone who is skilled in those two areas is bound to find success at some level, especially if he’s given a chance in the top six and on one of the two power-play units.
Last year, he didn’t score as much as he would have liked to, and his production wasn’t as good as his numbers suggested they could have been. With some poor shooting luck, a system not designed around his strengths, and being mixed between the fourth line and the pressbox without much warning, it’s hard to really blame him. He was taken under Jonathan Huberdeau’s wing, and this poking of fun at his former head coach suggests that he feels more free to be himself and doesn’t have to worry about walking on eggshells.
Pelletier changing his number isn’t a huge piece of news, but the fact that he made this playful shot at his former head coach makes it more significant, and it’s good to see the more playful side of him coming out. He’s enjoying the time he’s spending, and after what happened last season, that’s good to see.

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