The Calgary Flames need a new head coach. With some names going around, who would you rather have: Darryl Sutter or Bill Peters?
With the recent firings of head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistant coaches Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard, the Calgary Flames need a new bench boss. Some names have been circulating, one who is familiar with Flames fans. So I’m here to ask who Flames fans would rather: Darryl Sutter or Bill Peters.
We ran a Twitter poll a couple days ago and the answers were quite evenly divided.
While Peters has just 2% more votes than Sutter, it’s still quite even. With a lot of people not wanting any.
Case + noncase for Sutter
Darryl Sutter was the Flames head coach for about two and a half seasons, from the middle of the 2002-03 season until the 2005-06 season (remember, there was a lockout). He then didn’t coach for five years until joining the LA Kings, also around midway through the season, in 2011-12 where they won their first ever Stanley Cup. His most recent NHL gig was with the Kings, which ended at the end of the 2016-17 season. In five and a half seasons with the Kings, he led them to two Stanley Cups.
In a press conference by Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving the other day, he revealed that having a coach with lots of NHL experience is key. Well, Sutter is just that. He has almost 20 years of NHL head coaching experience along with a couple of years as associate/assistant coaching. And given that he’s been in the organization before, he’s somewhat familiar with the team.
However, there are reasons why the Flames would steer away from him. First of all, there were rumours that Sutter left Calgary on bad terms. What specifically those terms were, I’m not exactly sure.
His coaching style isn’t completely suitable for the NHL anymore, which is why in his last three years with the Kings, they missed the playoffs twice. The NHL today is a fast league, but Sutter has more of a hitting/tough-guy style type of play and plays a strong defensive game. That just isn’t suitable anymore and the most successful teams the last few seasons have been the ones with lots of speed and who generate lots of offence.
Noncase + case for Peters
Bill Peters got his first NHL head coaching gig in 2014 when he was named the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. He stayed with them for the next four years until just recently when he resigned. Previously, he was an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings for three years. And that basically concludes his NHL experience. He does have a bit of minor/junior experience, being a head coach in the WHL for three years, a head coach in the AHL for another three, and three years of a WHL assistant coach.
Like I mentioned, Treliving said that having someone with lots of NHL experience is key. Well, Bill Peters has just four years of head coaching experience in the NHL, so he’s not exactly a key candidate in that case. The Hurricanes also missed the playoffs all four years under Peters. Their special teams weren’t great and, like the Calgary Flames, they had trouble generating offence.
However, I will play Devil’s Advocate here for Peters. He didn’t have quality goaltending, his top centerman put up just 19 goals, and the team spent $15 million below the salary cap. $15 million can get you a pretty competent second line. The Flames’ second line used almost half of that amount (given that Mikael Backlund just got signed in the middle of the season to an extension and Matthew Tkachuk is still on an ELC but given so, they would still spend less than $15 million).
It’s pretty hard for a coach to win games when he’s not given the tools required to succeed. As long as it doesn’t take the Flames coaching staff 51 games to recognize that Dougie Hamilton is their best offensive defenceman and to put him on the first powerplay unit, I’ll be happy.
And, to all the Peters haters out there, I’m sorry. But it’s been reported by multiple sources that the Flames have signed him to a three-year contract that they’ll be announcing Monday morning.
I’m not completely pleased about this, but I’m also not completely angry. Only time will tell how this decision will play out.