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Flames' Darryl Sutter steps down

12/29/2010 - NHL Calgary Flames

CALGARY, Alberta -- With his team's record among the worst
in the Western Conference, Darryl Sutter resigned Tuesday as general
manager of the Calgary Flames.

Assistant GM Jay Feaster was promoted to acting general manager
and will be responsible for day-to-day hockey operations.

The decision could resonate within the organization. Darryl
hired brother Brent in 2009 to coach the team. Another brother,
Duane, is the team's director of player personnel.

Flames president Ken King lauded Darryl Sutter's eight years in
the organization. Sutter also was the club's executive vice
president.

"He was the leader that ignited a renaissance of Flames hockey,
moving us from a nonplayoff team to an organization that was viewed
as a respected and popular contender each year," King said in a
statement.

King said Feaster will handle the general manager duties until
season's end, and Sutter will "assist in an orderly transition."

"We believe that while we continue to compete for a playoff
position this season, this period will provide both the
organization and Jay time to decide on critical future decisions,"
King said.

Feaster joined the Flames in July. He captured a Stanley Cup
as the Tampa Bay Lightning's GM in 2004 and a Calder Cup championship
as president of the AHL's Hershey Bears in 1997.

The Flames (16-18-3) were fourth
in the Northwest Division, five points ahead of last-place
Edmonton.

Sutter, 52, joined the organization in 2002
when he was hired as coach. He became general manager the following
year. He gave up the coaching job in 2006 but remained GM.

The Flames are one of the oldest teams in the NHL with an
average age of nearly 30. They're also an expensive team, one at
the salary cap limit.

The Sutter name is revered in the hockey community. Six Sutter
brothers played in the NHL and four of them -- Darryl, Brian, Duane,
Brent -- have coached in the league as well.

When Darryl Sutter arrived in Calgary, the franchise was
emerging from a dark time. A seven-year absence from the playoffs
sent season-ticket sales into a tailspin in 1999 and 2000. A "Save
the Flames" campaign by the team allowed the club to survive.

In Sutter's first year in the dual role of coach and GM in
2003-04, the Flames reached the Stanley Cup final and lost to Tampa
Bay in seven games.

After the lockout of 2004-05, Sutter coached the team to a division title but
it lost in the first playoff round to Anaheim. Sutter then gave up
coaching. Three coaches followed in the next four years -- Jim
Playfair, Mike Keenan and Brent Sutter.

Darryl Sutter's record as general manager is mixed.
One of his
top moves was acquiring goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff for a
second-round draft pick in 2003 when the Finn was a backup in San
Jose. Kiprusoff won the Vezina Trophy after the team's Stanley Cup
final run.

There were other solid acquisitions: Rene Bourque, Daymond
Langkow, Cory Sarich, David Moss, Mike Cammalleri.

Most of Sutter's first-round draft picks, however, didn't pan
out. His multiplayer trades early this year have not had much
impact, and Sutter was unable to land a top center to complement
captain and right wing Jarome Iginla.

As a player, Sutter was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the
11th round in 1978. In 406 career games, he had 161 goals and 118
assists. He had 24 goals and 19 assists in 51 playoff games. He
retired after the 1986-87 season.