Coach Sutter Announces Retirement
The 59-year-old Sutter has had a career in the NHL since 1978 when he was drafted as a player. After his playing career was over, spent entirely with the Chicago Blackhawks, Sutter transitioned to a coach as well as an executive.
Sutter’s statement is as short and to the point as his post-game conferences were:
“Forty years, that’s enough…”
The announcement came a year after Sutter was let go by the Kings, along with general manager Dean Lombardi. At that time, Sutter had stated that he felt there was still some coaching left in him. However, it looks like family is more of a pull than the day-to-day grind of coaching.
“I enjoy watching the game on TV and I pull for certain players and I’m totally at peace with not coaching,” Sutter said.
Sutter’s Career Before the Kings
Sutter started with his old team, the Chicago Blackhawks, and abruptly quit after three years when his youngest son Chris was born with a form of down syndrome. Sutter thought he was done with coaching until he was brought back by Dean Lombardi to form their first partnership in the San Jose Sharks organization. Both men were let go after six years together.
Sutter immediately started coaching in his native Alberta with the Calgary Flames. He took the Flames to the peak of the sport in 2004. During that season, they went on a Cinderella run, going all the way to a game seven loss in the Stanley Cup Final. Sutter coached one more year with the Flames before being bumped up to General Manager.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 20, 2018
It felt like Sutter was through with coaching when he was let go by the Flames. Lombardi, however, took him off his farm and asked him to turnaround a young Kings team in 2011.
Darryl Sutter Gets His Happy Ending
Sutter reached the pinnacle of NHL coaching with the Kings the following season. Sutter led the Kings into the 2012 playoffs as an eight seed. Like in Calgary, Sutter again put together a Cinderella run, but this time, he had his happy ending.
The Kings went 16-4, winning their first Stanley Cup title in their 45 year history. Then, the Kings’ repeated the feat in 2014. By the time Sutter was done coaching the Kings, he cemented his legacy as the greatest coach in team history. Sutter led the club in both regular season wins (225) and playoff wins (42).
The hard-nosed Sutter may have rubbed players the wrong way by the end of his tenure, but there is no doubt his methods worked in turning a talented team into an elite force in the NHL. The Kings should honor his achievements when the time comes.
Now, he’ll enjoy retirement as a happy man on the family farm in Viking, Alberta.
“It’s a good life. I’m happy.”