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Sutter on cusp of joining exclusive list of midseason replacements that win Cup

Jun 6, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Darryl Sutter AP

It’s not unusual for a team to attempt a midseason course correction by firing their coach and hiring a replacement. However, it’s very rare for the new guy to lead his team to a Stanley Cup in the same season.

Unless the Devils are able to pull off a historic comeback, Kings coach Darryl Sutter will join the exclusive club of coaches that have accomplished that impressive feat. The list includes Dan Bylsma, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup after replacing Michel Therrien in the second half of the season, and Larry Robinson, who won the Cup with the Devils in 2000 despite getting the job with just eight games remaining in the regular season.

Sutter joined the Kings in December and the team posted a 25-13-11 regular season record under him. He helped them squeeze into the playoffs and Los Angeles has realized its potential in the postseason. Given how monumental the Kings’ run has been, it seems only appropriate that their coach is doing what only a select few have done before.

  1. habsman - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Al MacNeil took over the coaching duties with Montreal in 1971 and with 8 games remaining in the season he benched starting goaltender Roggie Vachon and inserted a youngster from Cornell University named Ken Dryden. The Habs went on to upset the Cup champs from Boston in seven games as well as Minnesota and Chicago enroute to the cup.

    • blomfeld - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      Great post ! … I was a 12 years old then and for some reason I still have vivid memories of Dryden’s heroics that year, especially against the Blackhawks ! … :)

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