Do the Calgary Flames really need another Sutter?
Let's face it: the place already looks like a Sutter family reunion with Darryl as general manager, other brother Duane as director of player personnel and other brother Ron as a scout. Toss in Darryl's son Brett, who played in four NHL games this past season, and other brother Brent, who is expected to resign today from the New Jersey Devils, and you might as well make the Flames' logo a flaming S.
Brent Sutter is most definitely a candidate to take over in Calgary for the fired Mike Keenan. Sutter made no secret of the fact he wanted to return to Alberta to be closer to his family and his business, the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.
The hiccup is that Brent still has a year remaining on his contract with the Devils, a deal that restricts him joining another NHL team - unless, of course, some sort of agreement is reached. While NHL rules don't allow for compensation, it's hard to imagine Devils' GM Lou Lamoriello allowing Sutter to jump to an NHL rival out of the goodness of his heart. (In other words, keep your eyes sharp for a possible player transaction between the Devils and Flames that looks a bit one-sided.)
The bigger concern is whether Brent Sutter is the right man to take the Flames beyond the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He had two strong regular seasons in New Jersey but his team was twice knocked out in the opening round. How's that any better than what Keenan or his predecessor Jim Playfair managed?
Brent Sutter would certainly fall in line with Darryl's thinking that the Flames need to be more defensive-minded. But another Sutter in the mix? That's just too much of the same thing.