Friday, January 20, 2006


"He does not suffer fools or slackers gladly."

Nice piece by George Johnson on Darryl Sutter at
His is the face on the franchise. Not Iginla's. Not Kiprusoff's. Make no mistake where the power lies, either. Other people may have fancy titles and swell write-ups in the official media guide, but the buck starts and stops in only one place. Banana republic dictators have less sway than this guy.

Sounds about right. His success speaks for itself, and I'm pretty sure that's the only way he wants to be judged.

I don't write about Sutter much, mainly because I have the same attitude. Team success means he's doing a good job. If the team fails, that means he's not. And plus, he's got enough people in the regular Flames media (like George Johnson, for example!) more than willing to toot his horn.

My personal favourite thing about Darryl Sutter, though, is definitely listening to his press conferences and media scrums on the radio. It's actually a little surprising that he's so well-liked by the media, because it always sounds like he has a strict policy of never agreeing with them about anything.

To be more clear: he always starts every answer by rejecting the premise of the question. If anyone has tape of Sutter answering a question by starting with the word "Yes", or "Yeah", or anything remotely affirmative, please give me a heads-up. He never sounds pissy about it (although 'ornery' would be fair), but the beginning of every answer is essentially a rebuke of the questioner.

If you asked him today, "Do you think Jarome Iginla has gotten untracked?", or some such variation, he'd respond that the goals aren't the issue, it's something about hard work, taking care of the little things, putting himself in positions to be successful, etc. etc. If you're hoping to hear him comment about the importance of Jarome Iginla scoring goals, you'll need to ask him a somewhat unrelated question about goaltending, or the powerplay.

Once you get used to it, it's pretty entertaining.


Say what you like, but for me the face of the Flames franchise is still Mike Bullard's immediately after the '88 McSorley Spear.

Yeah, I'm aware you enjoyed that:

(I still replay Bullard's Koho vasectomy in my head when I'm feeling low. So sue me, the ref didn't even call it.)

The kicker, though, was that the linesman saw it, and was ready to tell the refs to call a major, but in 1988 was not permitted to blow the whistle to do so. He had to wait for a whistle to happen "naturally", which then occurred when Charlie Huddy scored the go-ahead goal.

McSorley then did receive a major penalty, but the goal stood. He also got a 3-game suspension--after the series was over.

Bad times.

He never sounds pissy about it (although 'ornery' would be fair), but the beginning of every answer is essentially a rebuke of the questioner.

All the good coaches are like that. Hell, half the bad ones are, too. It makes it that much less fun talking to them every week.

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