LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

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.”

MY TAKE

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 nationradio@team1260.com 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.

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48 Responses to "LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL"

  1. franksterra says:

    Let me be the first here to say hi Coach Sutter, welcome to Edmonton. I have few thoughts on his worth, just acknowledging what seems to be inevitable.

    Hopefully he’ll get his complete-ish horse on D and another gritty, experienced winger, but RNH is the #1 C now and for the next twelve years. And he better handle Dubby well.

  2. oilersfan says:

    I disagree Lowetide. THere may have been a time where the Oilers did not keep secrets but that has changed under Tambellini.
    I think one of the reasons is he takes so long to make a decission. I don’t believe he has decided who he wants to be the new coach yet.
    So how can the media know if Tambo doesn’t?
    Jones and Brownlee are just speculating, just like they were on Hemsky being traded and Smyth being re-signed before the season ended. They don’t have Tambellini’s ear or mouth and don’t know much more than us.

  3. Bar_Qu says:

    Nothing screams success like “conventional” and “middle of the road”. I am glad the Oilers are setting their sights high with their next coach. It has worked out very well for them with their current GM, hasn’t it?

    This is the third head coach hiring in a row which is disappointing in its lack of vision or daring. I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is very disappointing.

  4. TheOtherJohn says:

    Great lineup of guests LT

    Any possibility you can ask Bruce on today’s show who he hates more: referees in general or Dustin Brown?

    B Sutter has won everything as a player (although as Lowe has proven that does not necessarily translate to management), has had very good success coaching young lids: Memorial Cup, WJHC twice. Interested to see if he can grow with the young nucleus.

    I certainly hope so because I hate our unbalanced roster and losing!!

  5. Cactus says:

    I suspect that Sutter is simply their baseline for a new head coach – that’s why they haven’t simply announced him. They know they can get him, so they’ll spend a few weeks looking to see who else is out there, especially after a few coaches get let go following the end of the season (we’ve all heard the rumours of McLellan and Vignault). Nelson will also get a look.

    If Sutter was a guarantee, they would have announced him. He may be most likely, but no guarantee. Tambellini knows this is his last coach for 4-5 years.

  6. Ducey says:

    This is the third head coach hiring in a row which is disappointing in its lack of vision or daring. I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is very disappointing.

    If only we had the vision and daring to hire back the same guy we had 4 years ago.

    Lets fire Tambo immediately. He traded Hemsky, failed to trade for or sign Smyth, he didn’t get anything for Omark, now he drafts Murray first overall, and hires Brent Sutter.

  7. slopitch says:

    I think the Oilers should go after Paul Maurice. He is experienced and has a good track record developing youngsters like Skinner and Staal. Like MacT he seems able to get more out of a roster then he should. And he’s a cup winner. But let’s not talk about that

  8. bookje says:

    I don’t want Brent Sutter as the next coach.

    However, I am willing to admit that 90% of that is because I don’t like how he scowls all the time. I also think he seems like a farmer and somehow I hold that against him (MacT and Renney were way more metrosexual – remember the hair). Now with all that said, apparently this Sutter guy once scored more than 100 pts in a season in the NHL. Also, he did some things as a coach in junior and on pee wee teams or something. He also coached one NHL team (The New Jersey Nets I think) to a pretty good record (1st in their division in one of the two years). However, he did not do so well in Calgary as a coach and has never pulled the tongue out from a mascot. Also, I hear that he promotes an up tempo forcheck and playing style that suit’s ‘Oilers Hockey’ in a way that MacT or Renney did not. Also, I hear he is not Pat Quinn.

    So there are some mitigating factors, but I don’t think any of those override the scowl. That scowl is terrible. Can’t the Oilers find someone who smiles. Arn’t any of those fancy TSN panel guys available?

  9. nathan says:

    “I don’t believe he has decided who he wants to be the new coach yet. So how can the media know if Tambo doesn’t?”
    oilersfan,

    By assimilating what Lowe says faster than Tambi does.

    Katz will corner the market on 80′s cup rings with 6 Islander rings for Duane and Brent and all those Oilers rings. Bookje it.

  10. Lowetide says:

    And Nathan ftw.

  11. regwald says:

    You have to ask Bruce for his interpretation of the video replay debacle in last night’s Oil King game. That was a momentum changer for Shawinigan.

  12. nathan says:

    regwald,

    What could possibly be wrong with the video judge saying the ruling on the ice stands and the ref changing the ruling on the ice and saying the whistle was after the goal?

    Evem more ‘splaining to do if the officials in the huddle report the no goal ruling was based on not seeing the puck. How does one know if something you did not see happened before or after your whistle?

  13. FPB94 says:

    So the guy didn’t get out of the 1st round in about 7 years… and their great idea is to hire him? …!

  14. bill needle says:

    So if Sutter is coaching, do the Oilers play McKinnon with Nail in 2013-14 or with Horcoff?

  15. SoxandOil says:

    Is Todd Neilson’s contract up? If so does he come to Edmonton as a Associate coach or find a Head Coach job with another NHL team?

  16. Jesse says:

    Hartikainen with a very nice goal last night in the Barons 5-1 win over the Marlies. He’s sure got a nice, quick shot. Once he’s able to find some open ice at the major league level, he could score a few.

    Speaking of Renney-like coaching tactics, the Marlies pulled their goalie when they were down three goals. The Barons scored on the empty net while cameras cut to Taylor Hall in the crowd. He was visibly upset.

  17. Bar_Qu says:

    Ducey,

    Are you implying I need to give the GM of the three time winner of the last place trophy team the benefit of the doubt? Sure. He didn’t (couldn’t?) trade Hemsky, and he (was forced?) signed Smyth, but this defense ignores the slew of failures he accomplished in the past year alone. Why else is Tom Renney liking for work today?

    So yeah, maybe ST its doing his due diligence on a coaching hire and he will blue my mind and choose the best candidate out there, out maybe he’s already telegraphed the choice just like he did with Renney’s firing, and its choosing a coach got the optics and not for the capabilities (but he would never choose an important role like that would he? Nik Khabibulin agrees with you)

  18. Thinker says:

    I hope the oilers take a look inside the organisation and give decent thought to todd nelson as coach. He has the barons firing on all cyllinders, and he is familiair with the bubbling under prospects, which would help them moving forward. The oilers need a coach that will let them play a style that will let them succeed. Personally i believe this to be fast wide open hockey. I actually don’t really know how todd coaches the game aside from playing rookies sparingly. Can anybody give me a description of his coaching style?

  19. regwald says:

    nathan,

    There’s so many messed up things about that review process, it’s hard to even list them all:

    1. Goal waved off on ice, replay official says ruling stands. Ref calls it a goal.
    2. Appears the puck is covered by Brossoit and the Shawinigan player kicks the puck loose by kicking the pad of Brossoit. typical no goal in the NHL.
    3. Heard a whistle during the play – did the puck go in the net before or after ? Never asked.
    4. Ref on the call claims he did not blow the whistle, but somehow one was heard. The second ref thought the puck was frozen ? See point #3 above
    5. Why would the first ref wave the goal off originally ? What was he thinking or seeing ? No idea ?!
    6. If the ref couldn’t see the puck go in the net from behind the goal, that logically means he must have lost sight of the puck, but yet claims he did not blow the whistle.
    7. If the WHL and QMJHL are playing, why is a ref from the QMJHL reffing that game ? I would assume it would be a ref from OHL. Strange assignment in my view.

    what a mess. I suspect we will never see another video review call on Sportsnet for the remainder of the Memorial Cup.

  20. bookje says:

    FPB94:
    So the guy didn’t get out of the 1st round in about 7 years… and their great idea is to hire him? …!

    ‘something like 7 years’ otherwise known as 5 years.

    Your comment was ‘something like’ informed.

  21. godot10 says:

    Tambellini’s job is on he line with the next coach, pretty much. This means Sutter is the “safer” choice compared to Nelson for Tambellini.

    Nelson is going to have to have one hell of an interview to get the job.

    If Nelson wants to be a head coach in the NHL, he might prefer staying as a head coach in the AHL until he gets an NHL job, rather than being an NHL assistant again.

    I’m okay if its Sutter. I don’t blame him for the Calgary mess. Daryl messed up that team, and Feaster and Brent didn’t see eye-to-eye. He was pretty good in Jersey.

  22. TheOtherJohn says:

    Realize we are commenting on coaches but if Sutter’s flaw is in not getting out of 1st round in 5 years, how do we measure a management group that hasn’t been in playoffs for 6 years and were : 30th, 30th and 29th in years 4 ,5 and 6 of those failed seasons spending 90% to the cap?

    Keep forgetting we are trying to be bad!! Well, at least we are very proficient at that.they could probably publish the “Plan” as a how to be bad text book

    How many of our AHL prospects had strong games against the Marlies in games 1 & 2? Or are the AHL veterans driving the success?

  23. godot10 says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Realize we are commenting on coaches but if Sutter’s flaw is in not getting out of 1st round in 5 years, how do we measure a management group that hasn’t been in playoffs for 6 years and were : 30th, 30th and 29th in years 4 ,5 and 6 of those failed seasons spending 90% to the cap?

    Keep forgetting we are trying to be bad!! Well, at least we are very proficient at that.they could probably publish the “Plan” as a how to be bad text book

    How many of our AHL prospects had strong games against the Marlies in games 1 & 2? Or are the AHL veterans driving the success?

    Paajarvi was first star last night. Hartikainen was also very good.

    Paajarvi was also a beast in the critical game 2 of the previous series.

  24. TheOtherJohn says:

    Actually think of MPS as an NHL player I was thinking of Pitlick, Marinson, Lander and Hamilton

  25. Ducey says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Ducey,

    Are you implying I need to give the GM of the three time winner of the last place trophy team the benefit of the doubt? Sure. He didn’t (couldn’t?) trade Hemsky, and he (was forced?) signed Smyth, but this defense ignores the slew of failures he accomplished in the past year alone. Why else is Tom Renney liking for work today?

    So yeah, maybe ST its doing his due diligence on a coaching hire and he will blue my mind and choose the best candidate out there, out maybe he’s already telegraphed the choice just like he did with Renney’s firing, and its choosing a coach got the optics and not for the capabilities (but he would never choose an important role like that would he? Nik Khabibulin agrees with you)

    If you want to fire Tambo, there are lots of reasons to do so, but lets not condemn him for things he has not done yet.

  26. Bar_Qu says:

    Ducey,

    I will take any excuse I can get, even the imagined ones!;-)

  27. anonymous says:

    Tambo shouldn’t be hiring the new coach or deciding on the first, dangerous thing having people make decisions when the pressure begins to boil. Last thing you want to do is have someone gamble a first away trying to save their job. New gm and coach makes the most sense.

  28. FastOil says:

    The Oiler’s problem is that the players are lazy and don’t listen, not that there are a dozen or so sub-replacement players on the team and a physio ward filling group of vets. No Sutter will take that crap. Darryl proves that in LA. Then just draft the new anchor for the D, problemo el solvo.

    Plus the rookies can help out on the farm and learn how to do a man’s work, especially those suspect fellows not from the West. Murray will be 220 come fall, and be able to make a steer with his teeth!

  29. nathan says:

    anonymous,

    Agreed. Lowe’s extension chase brought us Souray, Pitkanen, and Penner.

  30. nathan says:

    “If Nelson wants to be a head coach in the NHL, he might prefer staying as a head coach in the AHL until he gets an NHL job”

    godot10,

    Nelson might be interested in being Cooper’s assistant if Lowe told him what Cooper’s next job is.

  31. Ryan says:

    nathan:
    “I don’t believe he has decided who he wants to be the new coach yet. So how can the media know if Tambo doesn’t?”
    oilersfan,

    By assimilating what Lowe says faster than Tambi does.

    Katz will corner the market on 80′s cup rings with 6 Islander rings for Duane and Brent and all those Oilers rings. Bookje it.

    Yeah, poor Tambo is just cannon fodder for our real GM. Hired just to be a lightening rod for criticism during the tank job.

    Once the angry masses pierce his flak jacket, Lowe will have to find someone else.

    Plus one on the Bookje it!

    As an aside, with the grey font on black background here and the lack of retina display on my ipad2, I always seem to read, “bookie.”

    I don’t know much about Sutter as a coach, but there’s still the lingering stench from having been a flames coach. :)

    Can’t wait to watch our Sutter coached oilers play against Mact’s Flames though.

  32. art vandelay says:

    ‘something like 7 years’ otherwise known as 5 years.

    Your comment was ‘something like’ informed.

    It’s called “hyperbole.”
    But the grownups understand the point he was trying to make. Brent Sutter hasn’t exactly set the world on fire as an NHL coach.

  33. bookje says:

    art vandelay:
    ‘something like 7 years’ otherwise known as 5 years.


    Your comment was ‘something like’ informed.

    It’s called “hyperbole.”
    But the grownups understand the point he was trying to make. Brent Sutter hasn’t exactly set the world on fire as an NHL coach.

    No, its called inaccuracy – Hyperbole would be as follows “So the guy didn’t get out of the 1st round in about 20 years…”

    Inflating a number by 2 does not meet the standard of hyperbole.

    Also, you don’t need to be approaching 70 to be called an adult.

  34. bendelson says:

    The path to hiring(?) Sutter appears muddy, fraught with miscommunication and uncertainty.

    Not unlike the path that lead to Renney’s dismissal.

    …and just about everything else that comes down from the front office in this the ‘Tambo’ era.

    I have no confidence in anything that comes from this group at the NHL level.

    I fear the actual ‘rebuild’ will begin the day after the KLowe/Tambo union of incompetence is forever destroyed and Katz brings in someone that can restore credibility to his lost organization.

    Ug.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  35. Rondo says:

    Is there any interest in Ted Nolan as the coach for the Oilers.?

  36. bill needle says:

    bookje: Inflating a number by 2 does not meet the standard of hyperbole.

    Yeah, Art, don’t you know there’s a calculus formula for hyperbole? It’s so accurate that keys on your standard computer keyboard can’t display it properly. But the formula is named for its creator, Benjamin O.W. Kenobi.
    From now on, however, what Kenobi described as “an unfulfilled hyperbole,” will be called a Vandelay.

  37. Jesse says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Bill Needle and Art Vandelay are the same person?

    Ryan: Yeah, poor Tambo is just cannon fodder for our real GM.Hired just to be a lightening rod for criticism during the tank job.

    Once the angry masses pierce his flak jacket, Lowe will have to find someone else.

    Plus one on the Bookje it!

    As an aside, with the grey font on black background here and the lack of retina display on my ipad2, I always seem to read, “bookie.”

    I don’t know much about Sutter as a coach, but there’s still the lingering stench from having been a flames coach.

    Can’t wait to watch our Sutter coached oilers play against Mact’s Flames though.

    I’ve also thought it funny that the day will soon come when the N Alberta WHL goalie (Laurent Brossoit, Oil Kings) will be playing for the Flames, against a S Alberta WHL goalie (Tyler Bunz, Med Hat Tigers) playing for the Oilers.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Jesse: Ryan Smyth and Jarome Iginla have been doing that for years.

  39. Jesse says:

    Hmmm, yeah. I guess I wasnt thinking as much about birthplace as I was about Junior team. But I guess the tradition continues with the Oilers’ elite young player being Hall, from Calgary, and the Flames top young player being, uh….

  40. Maverick says:

    Sutter isn’t my first choice but if its going to be help, I can live with that. So in total that gives the Oilers two Sutters, one as coach and other as a pro-scout. If they can transplant their work ethic from on the ice to off the ice it might be a good thing for this organization.

    Love the last line that LT slipped into the posting…”I also suspect he’ll ride Taylor Hall like Paul Revere on his midnight ride, and Hall may be moved to center.”

    I support this decision. Hall can see the ice more, he already skates over the whole ice, he isn’t just a up and down the wing kind of player. Adjustments, of course face offs but also he will be the play maker must use his line mates when creating plays. He can do it, he’s a horse.

  41. spoiler says:

    The Sutter pic and the first line of this post are priceless.

  42. rickithebear says:

    Wonder if sutter likes jokinen as a center.

  43. spoiler says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    I identify the Sutters with everything Flamer. Not to mention the lslanders. Just feels weird. Like changing types of underwear (Spidey tighties to Batman boxers, say).

    And how much of this is Sutter wanting to stay in Alberta, if possible? Our coaching search ends at the guy who asked for the job? What do they like about Sutter over Renney? Passion? Or was there a rift between Renney and the Kids and Renney was done one way or the other?

    But I keep coming back to “Why Sutter?”

    I like the style of hockey he coaches, reminiscent of when Lowe coached–hard skating, hard banging, strong forecheck game–although I don’t know this is the right team to play that style. Anyone remember if the Flames played man or zone D under Sutter?

    God I hope it’s not a Sutter. I know Darryl has got Penner’s engine revving and that’s a heck of an achievement, but it’s going to be surreal watching Brent hoist the Cup as an Oiler. He would immediately be struck by a bolt of lightning, I swear to the gods.

  44. russ99 says:

    Rondo,

    i personally would would love to see the Oilers think differently on a coaching hire like that. Nolan is surely qualified for the job.

    But Nolan got blacklisted as an NHL coach either for (take your pick) being a native American or something he allegedly did or said to Muckler in Buffalo.

    Not the kind of guy for the Oilers organization who put seemingly put the “old boy” in “old boy network”…

  45. Ryan says:

    spoiler,

    Yeah, it would feel a little like Dalton mcGuinty becoming the premier of Alberta. That being said, this team is a few years away from being competitive.

    Hope they give the upcoming coach a blindfold and a cigarette.

    As a plus, is Sutter at least a guy who can keep the prodigies alive and well for the next two seasons?

    Is Sutter the type of guy who will turn the other cheek when Hall gets run over?

  46. franksterra says:

    Whoever it is i hope they’re picked soon. Not for the organisational optics but so that this new dude can spend a summer watching video, maybe contacting some of the vets, talking to the the assistants (maybe thinking of picking their own?), watching guys in the system in junior and AHL playoffs…not Quinn coming in before camp and mixing up Horcoff and Hemsky-type crap!

    I know head coching in Europe is probably more appealing to him, but I hope they find a way to keep Krueger around in some capacity. Maybe Sutter’s style makes Bucky redundant now, and Krueger is the x’s and o’s man to Sutter’s motivator and mentor.

  47. Magnus says:

    Beyond my views on Sutter’s lack of success and coaching style, like the article states Sutter is a hard ass. And I don’t think that’s the way to go with a young team that’s still learning. That type of coaching I would say works best on a team full of veteran players. Besides, it doesn’t take long for a team to start tuning out a coach that has that demeanor. That’s what seemed to have happened in Calgary. Apparently he’s mellowed a bit in the last couple of years, but still, having watched him coach Calgary for several years, there’s not a more morose, ill-humoured looking coach behind the bench in the NHL.

  48. DeadmanWaking says:

    The draft and CBA conspire to make the NHL a middle-of-the-road feast or famine system. A five year playoff famine is not a strong indication of coaching competence. Many investors convince themselves they are Sierra Hotel riding an up market (or just having the right style for the conditions in play) after a similar stint. Almost all of these people wash out over a decade time span.

    Bumping five years up to seven years bends the needle toward statistical significance. In the era of the Wikipedia teleprompter, that’s no small feat of argumentative sangfroid. Ask any scientist the professional term for trimming N by a small increment in order to turn an unpublishable result (t-score less than 0.95) into a publishable result (t-score greater than or equal to 0.95). The word sure ain’t “hyperbole”.

    Next you’ll be telling us that it’s a red-blooded game of chicken to drive down the road with your side-view mirror hanging over the center stripe. “Come on man” I can hear you say, “the mirror is moulded fiberglass with integrated LEDs and metallic paint. Lose one of those, you’ll regret it for months.”

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