Darryl Sutter wasn’t on the ice when the buzzer sounded for the Kings first Stanley Cup Championship in their 46 year history. But the biggest boss in the building was suited up behind the bench since the Kings hired him midseason on December 17th. And how could you not give the last piece of the Kings puzzle all the credit.
To be fair Jeff Carter was added afterwards, and Dean Lombardi assembled all the pieces including Sutter. But Sutter had the pieces, and the puzzle didn’t put itself together.
Why is Sutter always the biggest boss in the room? He just does his own thing his own way, and his confidence in himself takes over any room he is in—even a room as big as Staples Center.
Kings practices are still open under Sutter like they were under Terry Murray. Many of the defensive principles are still in place, and Sutter still runs a pretty tight ship asking for responsibility and accountability. But by all accounts the freedom that he gave the Kings players on the offensive end was finally the factor that jump started a team starving for goals.
Getting new players to fit into a system and work together with some cohesion is a monumentally difficult task. He just came into the room like a boss with a bitter beer face and didn’t blink or hardly make any sense while explaining the Kings successes in the playoffs or struggles in the regular season.
The LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond ranked Darryl Sutter’s top 20 quotes from throughout the season. More to the point that Sutter does his own thing: regarding not announcing his starting goalie he quipped, “This isn’t baseball,” and on the officials not seeing Ryan Clowe handle the puck from the bench, “Well obviously they didn’t (see it). I couldn’t text them or anything.”
Darryl Sutter hardly blends in in LA though. Coaches like Pat Riley, Joe Torre, and Phil Jackson assimilate seamlessly. Sutter is a country boy from a farm in Canada with 7 brothers, all of which but one played in the NHL. If the Kennedy’s are the First Family of American politics, the Sutter’s are the blue collar first family of hockey (the ‘Canadian’ part was implied). They aren’t royalty, just hockey royalty. But he has endeared himself to all Kings fans with results and just being himself.
Sutter coached the Stanley Cup Champion Kings, and had half a season to get them to that point. Lombardi put together all of the pieces and that can be a harder task, but there are a lot of great teams on paper. Lombardi is 1 of 7 GMs with Cups for their current teams—Sutter is 1 of 5 coaches. So to that end I give the edge=Sutter. The Kings won it on the ice in dominating fashion, winning the Stanley Cup tied for the fewest games required in the current Stanley Cup playoff format. And they did it in their own unique style.
It’s the offseason now, before camp starts. So Darryl Sutter can now enjoy the cows, enjoy the Cup, and enjoy being number 16 on our countdown before Kings camp begins.