‘There’s a shelf life to that type of coach’: Calgary Flames fire head coach Darryl Sutter

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
11 months ago
For the second time in two weeks, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Don Maloney held court with local media at the Saddledome to discuss a personnel change. Two weeks after general manager Brad Treliving and the club parted ways, the Flames announced they have relieved head coach Darryl Sutter of his duties.
Maloney shared that the decision came at the end of his lengthy review of the organization, which included consulting with the team’s players, coaching staff and training staff, as well as agents representing some of the club’s top names.
“It became clear to me that we need a new voice to guide us forward,” said Maloney.
According to Maloney, the debriefing meeting with Sutter took two and a half hours. Maloney had a lot of positive things to say about Sutter as a coach, but alluded multiple times that “today’s player(s)” may not respond well to that approach over time and eventually tune those types of coaches out.
“He’s a firm coach, a hard coach, a demanding coach,” said Maloney. “There’s a shelf life to that type of coach and unfortunately for us obviously I felt his time expired with us.”
Maloney declined to get into specifics regarding what the findings of his organizational review were, aside from them resulting in Sutter’s departure. There were numerous reports throughout the season regarding friction between Sutter and Treliving, as well as Sutter and several players, including Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau.
Now, the focus turns to hiring a new GM. Maloney noted that he’s “getting names together” but that Treliving won’t be considered, as the club needs a new voice. (He also emphasized, when asked, that Treliving’s departure had nothing to do with Sutter.) Once a new GM is hired, the new GM will hire a new head coach, and the new head coach will build a coaching staff.
In other words: it’s reasonable to expect announcements from the club to continue over the next few weeks and months. The tone of the press conferences will probably be a bit more upbeat as the club gets key pieces in place off the ice to enable a more successful future on the ice.

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