Darryl Sutter: 10 Reasons He May Be Collecting Unemployment Insurance Soon

Steve McSweenSenior Analyst IMarch 28, 2010

VANCOUVER - JANUARY 7:  Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter argues a call with a referee during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place on January 7, 2006 in Vancouver, Canada.  The Canucks defeated the Flanes 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Well, the Calgary Flames have finally fizzled and are dead in the water after suffering a 5-0 blow to the Boston Bruins that would have made a 19-year-old Mike Tyson giggle like a school girl.

With the loss, emotions finally got the best of GM Darryl Sutter, as he appeared on the Boston broadcast and ripped his top players for not getting the job done.

And now, the man who has done everything in his power to make this club a contender, may just pay the ultimate price for the lack of effort his team has displayed over the last half of the NHL season.

So I decided to take a look at some reasons why Flames management may part ways with the man that turned this franchise around when he first took over the coaching ranks halfway through the 2002-03 season.

Here they are, in no particular order:


10. Should have stepped back behind the bench

After leading the Flames to a Stanley Cup final in 2004, and a first place finish in the Northwest Division in the 2005-06 season, Darryl Sutter has spent the last four years trying to find a bench boss.

He has hired three coaches over that time, when the obvious choice would have been for him to take the reins once again.


9. Olli Jokinen trade

I don't blame Sutter for this one—they needed a big, top-line center and he got one, but like a few moves that have backfired, Jokinen was a bust in Cowtown.

To make matters worse, Matthew Lombardi has become a player in Phoenix, and the first-round pick they gave up for him comes now on the heels of an NHL Entry Draft that is very rich with talent.


8. Boston rip may not sit well with Iggy and rest of the players

After calling out his top three forwards and top two defensemen on the Boston television feed, he may have started an uprising in the dressing room.

Now more than ever, it will either be Jarome Iginla or Darryl Sutter that will be moving on next year, as the two most likely won't be able to coexist in Calgary.


7. Phaneuf deal didn't improve team

I still like the deal that saw the Flames acquire Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White, and Jamal Mayers for Dion Phaneuf and Frederik Sjostrom.

That being said, it improved the Leafs more than it improved the Flames, as Dion has become an icon in Toronto and the players Darryl Sutter got in return have looked...well, Leaf-like.

Just another move that backfired on Sutter.


6. Theoren Fleury release wasn't really necessary

Since the Flames aren't going to make the postseason and don't have a first-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, it turns out the only games that really meant anything were the preseason ones when Theo Fleury was making his comeback attempt.

He didn't look great, but he still finished tied for third on the club in scoring with four points and notched an incredible shootout winner against the New York Islanders. If he had of been given 20 games or so to get it back, who knows what may have been.

The fans loved him, which may have been just the spark the Flames needed in the Saddledome this season, as they are a disappointing 19-16-3 at home thus far.


5. Jay Bouwmeester signing

All the GM's in the NHL wanted him, and Darryl Sutter pulled it off; but did he really need him with a blueline that already had Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, Mark Giordano, and Cory Sarich?

It doesn't help matters that Jay Bouw has looked more like J-Lo (Jennifer Lopez) this season and has stunk like her acting career.

Not to mention the fact they have one of the best goaltenders in the game in Miikka Kiprusoff.

That money would have been better spent on a goal-scoring forward. Which brings me to my next point.


4. Should have signed Mike Cammalleri

I'm hoping that Darryl offered Cammalleri $5 million per year to stay and that he turned it down so that the blame doesn't actually lie on the Flames' GM. I have a feeling though, that isn't the case.

Either way, he scored 39 goals in Calgary last season, and his 26 goals this year would have helped the cause I'm sure.


3. Too many aging superstars in a fast-paced league

I know this may contradict signing Fleury, but he would have brought more to the table than guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Tony Amonte, Owen Nolan, and as much as I hate to say it, Craig Conroy.

It seems like Sutter definitely has a thing for the veteran players, and like everything he touches, they just never seem to pan out in Calgary.


2. Should have signed Kristian Huselius

Huselius scores 34 goals, then 25 goals, and Sutter doesn't resign him. And, he has been a 20-goal guy in each of his last two years with a horrible team in Columbus.

If you ask me, he is well worth the $4 million the Blue Jackets are paying him.


1. Should have acquired a bonafied backup goaltender earlier.

Since 2004, the Flames backups have combined for 13 wins before Sutter finally acquired Vesa Toskala at the trade deadline this year. That workload is one of the main reasons Miikka Kiprusoff has struggled come playoff time.


Too little, too late for Darryl Sutter.