Brent Sutter has coached the Calgary Flames for three seasons, and for three seasons the Calgary Flames have missed the playoffs.
He wanted a fourth whack at the pinata, which makes the announcement that he's a willing participant in his demise a little odd; but it's not like Sutters ever get fired in Calgary.
The Calgary Flames announced today that Brent Sutter and the organization have reached a mutual agreement to conclude coaching duties. In addition, the contract of assistant coach Dave Lowry will not be renewed.
"Brent Sutter and I met and discussed a number of issues regarding the hockey team and the future," said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. "Brent and I explored many options and ultimately determined that it is best to proceed in different directions. Brent is a great person and an excellent hockey coach. On behalf of the Calgary Flames, we sincerely appreciate his hard work, dedication and commitment to our organization, and we wish him every success. We also appreciate the important contributions of Dave Lowry."
"After discussions with Jay since the season ended, it was in the best interest of the organization and myself to part ways," said Brent Sutter. "I wish the Calgary Flames all the best."
Perhaps the word "rebuild" came up in those discussions?
His career coaching record is 215-146-49; he was 118-90-38 with the Flames.
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.
In his postseason comments to the media, Sutter lamented the problems that plagued the team even as he hoped to return. From the Sun:
"It doesn't start on the ice. I think that's a real misunderstood thing. Good teams, it's how they do things the right way off the ice as far as preparing to play the games, preparing to make sure every game matters, having a real close-knit group that really, really cares deeply for each other on the ice," said Sutter.
"But that doesn't start on the ice, that starts inside your room and works its way out. I'm not saying some of that isn't here. That's not my point. My point is when you put it all together, you have to put the whole work of it together, and it equals one word — and that's success."
Lack thereof spelled the end for Brent Sutter, who can settle back into day-to-day ownership of the Red Deer Rebels as a fallback.