Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter is expected to announce, either tomorrow or Tuesday, that his brother, Brent, will be the new head coach of the Calgary Flames.
The announcement will put an end to one of the worst-kept secrets in recent memory. Brent has been next-in-line for the Flames Head Coach role since midway through the ’08-’09 season when he started to get homesick for his beloved Alberta. It seemed that New Jersey just didn’t have what it takes to make him happy.
Since then, there has been a flurry of articles written in the press, stories put together on TSN, Sportscentre, and The Score. Not to be outdone, the blog-o-sphere has been lush with Brent Sutter rumours.
Not only will the impending announcement bring one of the best new coaches in the NHL to the Flames organization, but it will also bring a renewed focus on defense to the team that allowed the most goals-against last season. This must be music to Kipper’s ears!
Since the Flames abandoned their Darryl Sutter-driven focus on “D” (while Jim Playfair, and Mike Keenan were behind the bench, their one-time Vezina winning goaltender has fallen from the spotlight. While Miikka’s numbers were not as impressive as they were in 2005-2006, he’s still just as solid, and capable of making the big saves – as his title of “Play of the Year”shows.
The Flames have already proven that they can put the puck in the net as good as any other team in the league. What will set them apart in the coming season will be their ability to stop other teams from doing is so easily as they did last season.
I fully support the choice of Brent Sutter as the coach of the Calgary Flames. Bringing him onboard will do wonders for the culture of the Flames organization, which will ultimately lead to further success on the ice. Having a strong team-culture will increase the players’ desire to stay in Calgary, and in a salary-cap-tightened NHL, that could mean the difference between losing a great scorer like Mike Cammalleri to Atlanta, Dallas or New York (where he could surely get more $$$) or keeping him here where he wants to be.