Brent Sutter to coach Flames

Updated: June 23, 2009, 7:56 PM ET
Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames are adding another Sutter to their lineup.

General manager Darryl Sutter hired his brother Brent Sutter to be the coach of the Flames on Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeBrent Sutter
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesThe Flames organization now has five Sutters after the addition of former Devils coach Brent.

The addition of Brent pushes the total number of Sutters in the Flames organization to five.

Brother Duane is director of player personnel, brother Ron is a scout and Darryl's son Brett played for the Flames farm team last season.

"When you're in it long enough, it's probably going to happen when you have that many brothers who have been in the game as long as we have," Darryl Sutter said at a news conference.

The team has also hired Ryan McGill, Dave Lowry and Jamie McLennan assistant coaches.

Mike Keenan was fired as coach of the Flames on May 22.

Darryl Sutter said the Sutter name played no part in the hiring.

"I'm the GM, Brent's the head coach and this is the coaching staff," he said. "They were the very best people available. It didn't really matter what their last name was."

This marks the third coaching change in four seasons for the Flames. Darryl Sutter said there were three key things he wanted the new coaching staff to bring back to the team.

"Number one was leadership, [that was] very, very important," he said. "Number two was structure and number three was detail."

Brent Sutter quit the New Jersey Devils with one year remaining on his contract to return to Alberta, saying he missed his family and that he wanted to restore his Red Deer Rebels junior hockey team.

"There was some personal things that he understood," Brent said of Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Both Sutters have worked together before when Darryl coached Brent when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Brent Sutter coached the Devils to a 97-56-11 regular-season record in his first two seasons as an NHL coach, but New Jersey was upset in the first round of the playoffs in both seasons.

Darryl Sutter coached the Flames to the Stanley Cup finals in 2004, when they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. He vacated that position in 2006 and continued as GM.

Flames forward Craig Conroy played for Darryl and said he'll be interested to see if Brent's coaching style is similar to Darryl's.

"That's the one thing, the uncertainty, you're a little nervous going into camp," Conroy said. "It's a new coach and you want to get in the good books and you want to be able to play a lot and the only way to do that is to come in and be ready to roll."

The Flames underachieved last season with a fourth straight exit in the first round of playoffs. Calgary led the Northwest Division by 13 points in January, but injuries and inconsistent play eroded that cushion and cost Calgary home-ice advantage in the postseason. The Flames finished fifth in the Western Conference with a 46-30-6 record.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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