This offseason, there are several excellent head coaching candidates that the Florida Panthers should keep an eye on. One name that hasn’t been mentioned is Darryl Sutter.
Sutter led the Los Angeles Kings to two Stanley Cups. He also has a lot of NHL Experience as a coach, leading the Flames to the Cup Finals in 2002-03. I believe that he would be excellent behind the bench for the Florida Panthers
With the Kings, Sutter coached a physical/grinding game. However, he shouldn’t receive all the blame. Dean Lombardi made several questionable moves dumping draft picks and prospects for aging veterans. The Dustin Brown contract didn’t work out and was one questionable decision made by Lombardi. The Cats are looking for a guy who is creative and younger. Sutter, age 58 isn’t exactly the youngest guy on the block. He is a more conservative coach. However, like former head coach Gerard Gallant, Sutter is very good with his players.
The Panthers should go after Sutter. He is one of the best coaches on the market currently. He has a lot of experience in which he could share with a young team. The Cats need a coach with stability. Darryl could easily last another decade as a head coach. He also wouldn’t be an experiment as a head coach like Jim Montgomery.
Sutter is from a hockey family. His younger brother Duane Sutter was the head coach of the Florida Panthers from 2000-02 posting a 22-35-8-7 record in 72 games with the club. His older brother Brian Sutter won the Jack Adams award with the St. Louis Blues in 1991-92.
Overall, being from a hockey family and being a good locker room guy, I believe that Darryl Sutter would be an excellent candidate for the job. Not only does he have experience, but he’s proven that he can work with the players that are given to him, while being a “players coach”.