Hawks finished last in West under Sutter

Updated: May 19, 2004, 5:39 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks signed Brian Sutter to a one-year contract extension Wednesday.

The Blackhawks went 20-43-11-8 this season and finished last in the Western Conference this season. Their 20 wins were the fewest in the NHL, and the lowest by a Blackhawks team since the 1956-57 squad won 16. Chicago also had a franchise-record 19-game losing streak.

"I am very satisfied and excited about our coaching staff," general manager Bob Pulford said. "We were struck by key injuries early last season and Brian Sutter did a very good job with the talent we had. I think we can make improvements to our team and that Brian Sutter deserves a chance to coach that team."

Assistant coach Denis Savard was also given a one-year extension, and Bruce Cassidy, an NHL scout and former Washington Capitals coach, joined the staff as an assistant.

Sutter is 451-422-140-15 with eight playoff appearances in 13 years as an NHL coach with the Blackhawks, St. Louis, Boston and Calgary. He was runner-up for coach of the year in 2002, his first season in Chicago, when he guided the Blackhawks to a 41-27-13-1 record and a spot in the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press