Report: Flames coach Sutter leaves bench, remains GM

Updated: July 12, 2006, 11:54 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CALGARY, Alberta -- Just two seasons removed from a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter resigned Tuesday night, multiple Canadian media outlets reported.

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Sutter, 47, will remain as general manager of the Flames, who are expected to name assistant Jim Playfair as their new coach at a noon ET news conference Wednesday.

Sutter's stunning move comes just over three years after he guided Calgary to its third berth in the Stanley Cup finals. The Flames held a three-games-to-two lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning before losing the final two contests.

Last season, Sutter directed the Flames to a 46-25-11 record and a first-place finish in the highly competitive Northwest Division. However, that success did not translate to the postseason as Calgary was upset by Anaheim in seven games in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Sutter, who became coach in December 2002, posted a 107-73-15 record with 15 ties in his tenure with the team. He also coached the Chicago Blackhawks from 1992-95 and the San Jose Sharks from 1997-2003.

Meanwhile, this will be the first NHL coaching job for Playfair, 42, who has served as an assistant for the last four seasons. He directed the Saint John Flames of the American Hockey League for the previous three campaigns, leading them to the Calder Cup title in 2001.

SportsTicker contributed to this report.

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