Brent Sutter has never been happier. Probably.
The Edmonton Oilers aren’t very good at keeping secrets. When Terry Jones and Robin Brownlee write articles that identify the same “next” coach–and Jones is 6800 kilometres removed from Edmonton–then Oiler fans would be wise to assume Sutter is the next man.
The good thing? We have MILES of information on Brent Sutter as a coach.
KENT WILSON’S TAKE
Wilson is a very solid mind and his Flames Nations posts on the subject are well worth the read. In the article “Yay Optimism” Wilson details the improvement season over season from the coach and he concludes (about the 10-11 season) “the poor start sunk their playoff chances, but there is certainly evidence that an experienced Brent Sutter – now unencumbered by his older brother’s expectations and meddling – is capable of guiding the team to it’s maximum potential.”
When Sutter was released, Kent’s take was extremely interesting: “Over his three seasons here, Brent Sutter never converted me to a full fan of this methods. To some degree I think he was hampered by the tools he was given, but then he also never really diversified his methods or improved the club beyond it’s station in any meaningful fashion. In the end, he struck me as an altogether conventional, middle-of-the-road NHL coach.”
JONATHAN WILLIS’ TAKE
Willis wrote an item over at Cult of Hockey about Sutter, part of his series about possible Renney replacements. Willis wrote “I think Sutter’s a perfectly serviceable NHL coach. He knows what he’s doing and an NHL team probably isn’t going to be suffering if he’s behind the bench. I agree completely with Kent Wilson–he described Sutter as “an altogether conventional, middle-of-the-road NHL coach.” That’s not as bad as it sounds – NHL coaches are the best in the world at their profession – but it doesn’t really set him up as an innovator either.”
Look, I think we can all agree that Tom Renney had flaws–he never did get a feel for western conference line changes–and seemed to be playing catch-up in a lot of areas. DARRYL Sutter was quoted the other day as saying if you chase matchups you’re always chasing the puck, and that would appear to be what Renney’s teams were doing a lot. He also had a hard time identifying roles for players and never did find a way to get all of the top end prospects firing at one time. He was also playing with some gaps in the roster–something Oiler coaches have been dealing with going all the way back to MacTavish.
I think Sutter’s in-game management may be better–he seems to have adjusted to the western conference–and his reputation is as a bit of a hard-ass and that might be a positive after the teacher Renney. His teams play more of a pressure style, and Oiler fans will probably enjoy that change. He likes to forecheck and force the play and it’ll be interesting to see which of the Oilers young guns flourish under him.
I would think he’d be wanting a stronger option at #1C, a “complete” defender who could impact all three disciplines and more veterans along the wing up front to carry the mail and arrive in ill humor.
I also suspect he’ll ride Taylor Hall like Paul Revere on his midnight ride, and Hall may be moved to center.
NATION RADIO–TEAM 1260–NOON EDMONTON TIME
I’d love your questions today, we have excellent guests and the best questions always come from you. You can drop the ? in the comments section, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @lowetide_ or @ItsNationRadio.
Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis: On Sutter, on the Oilers summer, on the #1 overall pick, on Taylor Hall’s future role.
- Bruce McCurdy: We’ll discuss the incredible Oil Kings run, the wacky WHC’s and the coming attractions in astronomy.
- Tom Lynn is a player advisor, agent and attorney, certified by the National Hockey League Players Association. He has acted as General Manager and Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Wild and we’ll talk about the draft. Trades, moving up and down on draft day and the CBA.
- Corey Pronman has quickly become a credible source on the draft and we’ll pursue answers with him with a special focus on some of the “trending” players at the draft.
- Kent Simpson from the Oil Kings broadcasts on Team 1260. We’ll talk about that stunning opener last night and what the Oil Kings have in store for the rest of the week. Kent also played for Tom Renney, I’ll ask his opinion of the Oilers coaching change.
- Allan Hamilton, legendary member of the Oilers and Oil Kings. We’ll talk about that 1966 Memorial Cup team and I’ll ask Mr. Hamilton about what the current Oil Kings are experiencing at this year’s Memorial Cup.
Please post questions early, I want to make sure to get them all in.