So. We here at Jewels from the Crown were planning ahead for a roundtable on whether the Los Angeles Kings should fire head coach Darryl Sutter or retain him for another season. Before we could publish, we got our answer. So our roundtable question is now in the past tense:
Robyn: I've been on the fence about this for a long time. On the one hand, Sutter is an incredibly smart coach and honestly, there is no one I'd rather have in a seven-game series (except maybe Quenneville but he's gainfully employed at the moment). On the other hand, his abrasive, take-no-prisoners personality, while provides some fun comments for fans and scribes, can grate and wear on nerves. There seems to be tension between him and the players... maybe they'll stop acting like a bunch of coddled babies and play for keeps next year. I'd be interested to see the Kings move in a direction that's slightly less traditional -- i.e. not picking from the recycle bin of recent NHL head coaches.
JJ: As much as we love Darryl Sutter for being the first to bring the Kings the Cup, it's the end of an era, and it's time to move on. Sutter's defensive, grinding, cycling system was perfect for the hard-nosed, rough roster the Kings had from 2012 to 2014. However, the terse, old-school Albertan, who openly states that the NHL is not a development league, is no longer the right coach for today's Kings roster which features young prospects such as Forbort, Gravel, Kempe, LaDue, Dowd, Shore, and Brodzinski. Even Kopitar, who is a big player, is not a bully. None of these players can take over a game with grinding and mean attitude, and it is time for a new coach that is more patient with young players, and equipped to make the best use of their skill set.
JZ: Yes, it was time. Both he and Dean Lombardi will hold a special place in franchise history but both had simply run their course. Mr. Sutter's system was instrumental in bringing two cups to the franchise but, headed into his sixth full season, his message seems stale. It seemed clear that there was something amiss in the locker room and that even he and Dean were not on the same page with regard to roster decisions. Ultimately, a coach who will provide a bit more leash for young/skilled players seems to be a good idea.
Sarah: I've been in the "fire, reluctantly" camp in regards to Darryl Sutter's continued employment. The problems with this team didn't sit entirely on Sutter's shoulders -- he could only do so much with the roster he was given -- but over the past few years, he's shown a remarkable lack of ability to adapt his coaching style and systems to be able to compete with "today's NHL". I try not to put much stock in unsourced rumors, but sometimes where there's smoke, there's fire, and the constant rumbling that Sutter had lost the room, even if not wholly true, has to come from somewhere. Putting aside the anxiety about who the Kings will bring on as their next coach, I think this sort of major shakeup was really the only possible outcome after three seasons of underachievement.
Eric: I fully understand why the Kings made the move that they did, and this is a ruthless business... but I think I would’ve held on to Sutter for one final season rather than seeking a replacement. Sutter’s main issue has been how he uses his personnel, but there are a ton of coaches out there who would still scratch Dowd for Andreoff even after watching them both all season. Sutter’s style maximizes the talent he has at his disposal, and yes, it requires a slice of both good health and occasional shooting luck... neither of which the Kings had this season. The Kings clearly ran out of steam down the stretch, but I’m not sure that’s on Darryl either. Without knowing the locker room situation, I can only look at the team’s play, and despite the results, this team’s play was not drastically different than in years past.
Tell us what you think down below.
Should the Los Angeles Kings have kept Darryl Sutter, or was dismissing him the right move?
This poll is closed
The Kings should have kept Darryl Sutter
The Kings should have fired Darryl Sutter