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Calgary Flames Fire Head Coach Darryl Sutter

After missing the postseason this year, the Calgary Flames announced that they have fired head coach Darryl Sutter. Following last year’s performance, a big offseason trade that brought in Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar from the Florida Panthers, and a big free agent signing in Nazem Kadri, expectations for the Flames were fairly high. However, they struggled this season and failed to make the playoffs.

The Calgary Flames Move on without Darryl Sutter

Darryl Sutter was hired by the Flames mid-way through the shortened 2020-21 season. Following a successful 2021-22 season and first-round playoff victory, Sutter signed a multi-year extension with the Flames right before this season. However, after a lot of player movement in the offseason, Calgary could not find the same success and missed the playoffs. A few weeks ago, Calgary general manager Brad Treliving resigned. President of hockey operations and interim general manager Don Maloney made the decision to fire Sutter.

This was Sutter’s second stint behind the Flames bench. He led Calgary to their last Stanley Cup appearance in 2004 and served as the general manager until 2010. After resigning, he moved on to coach the Los Angeles Kings to two Stanley Cup championships before ultimately returning to the Flames in 2020.

Looking Forward

While one bad season may not always justify a coach firing, especially considering Sutter just signed an extension, it seemed to be more about having a new voice leading the team instead of strictly a record thing. There were numerous reports that Sutter’s no nonsense, hard-lined coaching style did not resonate well with many players. Maloney decided it would be best for the organization long term to move on without Sutter. In addition to finding a new general manager, the Flames will be in the market for a coach as well.

Meanwhile, Darryl Sutter has been around for a long time with many years of success. He could find himself behind another bench or in a front office in the near future should he decide to keep going. However, with the times changing it seems like more teams may be hesitant to take on his style of coaching. It will be interesting to see what’s next for Sutter.

Main photo by:  Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports


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