Terry Murray Fired: Los Angeles Kings to Hire Darryl Sutter

Jason Lewis@@SirJDLCorrespondent IIDecember 13, 2011

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 27:  General Manager Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames speaks with the media during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 27, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Not even 24 hours after Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi dismissed coach Terry Murray, word has come out that the Kings are down to the final stages of hiring former Calgary GM and San Jose Sharks coach Darryl Sutter.

Lombardi recently went to Calgary and asked permission of the organization to speak with Sutter.  And reliable sources, including ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, have all but confirmed it will happen.

Sutter, 53, has spent 12 seasons as an NHL head coach with Chicago, San Jose and Calgary. Lombardi and Sutter were also the former tandem of GM and coach in San Jose.

In his 12 seasons as a head coach, Sutter has led his team to the playoffs 10 times, including a stunning cinderella run by the Calgary Flames in 2004, where they lost in the finals to Tampa Bay.

Sutter took over as GM for the Calgary Flames in 2006, and was relieved of that duty in 2010 with the team struggling top to bottom.

With the Kings trying to step away from a "learning" coach, and moving more toward a hard-nosed coach who promotes accountability, Sutter seems like the natural fit.

He does have some large shoes to fill, though, with Murray being the quickest Kings coach to 100 wins, and getting the team to their first back-to-back playoff appearance since 2002.

Coach John Stevens will lead the team until the paperwork is finalized.

Hopefully, Sutter is capable of motivating the talented Kings squad that has been categorized as both soft and underachieving by many hockey pundits after a dismal start to the season.