Dec 12, 2011, 7:11 PM EDT
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider isn’t convinced John Stevens is the answer in L.A.
Reacting to news that the Kings parted ways with Terry Murray, Hammond writes that — from what he understands — the organization doesn’t see Stevens as a long-term solution.
Guess who might be, though?
Keep an eye on the whereabouts of Darryl Sutter in the next few days. Dean Lombardi is very close with Sutter and, as GM in San Jose, hired Sutter in 1997.
Sutter left the coaching ranks after the 2005-06 season, as he went from coach/GM to GM, and he left that role last December.
I’ll never forget the exchange I had with Lombardi, at the press conference to announce his hiring as Kings’ GM in 2006. It went like this…
Question: “In terms of qualities, what will you be looking for in a coach?”
Sutter’s been out of hockey since 2010 and hasn’t been behind an NHL bench since 2005-06. While the Sutter-to-L.A. theory looks great on paper, one has to wonder if the dysfunctional, acrimonious way he left the Calgary organization burned him out.
If that’s the case, Lombardi will have to look elsewhere for a coach….so here are some “types” to keep an eye on. (Note: I’m straying away from current assistant coaches because of contractual red tape, even though the likes of Mike Haviland, Lane Lambert, Tony Granato and Kevin McCarthy are highly thought of.)
The Recently Departed
Paul Maurice, Randy Carlyle, Davis Payne, Marc Crawford, Cory Clouston, Rick Tocchet.
A few intriguing names here. From the “story writes itself” angle, Carlyle is a money hire given the L.A.-Anaheim rivalry. He also talked about how hard moving would be on his family, especially his 15-year-old daughter.
Should note that Clouston is coaching the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) while Crawford/Tocchet have jobs — they’re currently doing TV work. Tocchet’s kind of interesting because he used to play for the Kings. There’s no way L.A. is going to hire Crawford again, but I wanted to mention him so I could play this clip:
Names That Get Mentioned Every Time A Job Comes Up
Craig MacTavish, Michel Therrien, Gerard Gallant.
Guys That Used to Coach The Kings
Robbie Ftorek, Andy Murray, Crawford.
Don’t laugh! Ftorek has reinvented himself with the OHL’s Erie Otters (and the Capitals just hired a junior coach in Dale Hunter). Plus, the NHL could always use a good bench tossing:
OK, now you can laugh.
Dallas Eakins (Toronto), Kurt Kleindorst (Binghamton/Ottawa), David Quinn (Lake Erie/Colorado).
In light of what Glen Gulutzan’s done in Dallas and Mike Yeo in Minnesota, hiring from the AHL is tempting. Eakins has been a hot coaching commodity for a while, but the Leafs likely want him as an insurance policy should things go south with Ron Wilson. Kleindorst took Bingo to the Calder Cup final last year and Quinn has groomed many Avalanche youngsters in Lake Erie, so they could be options as well.
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