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Darryl Sutter isn’t “a doctor or a psychologist,” so he can’t explain Mitchell’s absence

Jan 28, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

Willie Mitchell Getty

Darryl Sutter can’t explain why Willie Mitchell didn’t skate for the second straight day, but the Kings’ head coach sure does sound frustrated with the time the veteran defenseman is taking to get back into action.

Per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, Sutter said he’s “not a doctor or a psychologist” and, therefore, can’t explain what’s going through the head of the 35-year-old blue-liner that’s been medically cleared to play after having knee surgery during the lockout.

Today wasn’t the first time Sutter’s expressed frustration with Mitchell’s slow return.

“You know what, he’s got doctor’s clearance,” Sutter said last week. “He’s got trainers’ clearance. Coaches want him to clear himself.

“So do it.”

The defending Stanley Cup champions host the Vancouver Canucks, the team they defeated in the first round of last year’s playoffs, tonight at the Staples Center.

Mitchell’s absence, combined with the back injury to Matt Greene, has meant even bigger minutes for Drew Doughty (28:58 per game).

In fact, no NHL defenseman has averaged more ice time per game than Doughty.

  1. tyler4richardson - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Does Willie get paid to play hooky and not hockey? Sure he will be back soon either way. The lockout probably helped him realize how awesome it is to be a millionaire without a job.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Mitchell gets paid while he’s out with an injury, as he should. I suppose if the Kings wanted to burn bridges they could bring in another doctor or two to say Willie is healthy, then suspend him for not reporting.

      Somehow I think they’ve got more brains than that.

  2. davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Ahh Willie. Just when I thought I couldn’t like you any more you get Darryl Sutter all huffy. Nice work!

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