SUN Hockey Pool

GM Sutter awaits brother?

GM Darryl Sutter has yet to name the new head coach of the Flames. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

GM Darryl Sutter has yet to name the new head coach of the Flames. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

It's now been more than one week since Darryl Sutter's non-announcement.

Remember that one? It was his four-days-after-the-fact explanation about why Mike Keenan was fired as head coach and his proclamation he'll take the job unless he can find somebody better.

The silence has been deafening.

So have the rumours.

Even amidst the Stanley Cup final and with the Calgary Stampeders -- the defending Grey Cup champions -- about to open camp, tongues wagging over a double-double in this city are wondering when Sutter will make his decision over a new bench boss.

It could be today or tomorrow.

It could be -- as he said during the press conference -- around the time the NHL Entry Draft is held, June 26-27.

Still, it makes sense the wait is happening for a reason.

There hasn't been a concrete decision from Brent Sutter as to whether he'll return for one more season with the New Jersey Devils -- at least, not that we know.

Since the Flames wouldn't have to provide compensation if Brent leaves the Devils and joins the Flames, as per the NHL bylaws, it very well could be a case of waiting for all that to shake down.

(That's not to say the Devils wouldn't pay Brent with the stipulation he can't coach until his contract is completed, although it wouldn't be financially prudent to make those kind of demands of a coach who simply doesn't want to be there because it means so much time away from his family.)

Or, it could be a case Darryl Sutter's call for applicants has found more and better candidates than he expected to hear from.

Who knows? Maybe he's waiting for Scott Arniel's Manitoba Moose to finally end their season. Or somebody from the NHL in the same boat, like Brad McCrimmon in Detroit?

Or maybe now that Joe Nieuwendyk has taken over the GM duties in Dallas, the possibility exists Dave Tippett will be available? Hey, it's happened before that a new GM comes in and lets go a better coach simply to have 'his guy.'

Or maybe Sutter is still trying to figure out who'll be on his coaching staff -- Ryan McGill? Dave Lowry? -- and the contracts are in the finishing stages so we'll find out in the next day or two. (One hot rumour making the rounds has tomorrow being decision day for the Flames.)

Either way, expect it to happen sooner rather than later now that the calendar has flipped to June.

With the draft just around the corner and the free-agency period soon after, Sutter will want his ducks in a row well before he and the rest of the brass head to Montreal for the draft.

Free agency won't be overly taxing for Sutter, but he does have tough decisions to make with the likes of Michael Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi.

As much as Cammalleri wants to stay here and the Flames would love to keep him in the fold, it's not likely to happen unless a high-salaried player is sent elsewhere -- and all of those in that boat seem to have no-trade clauses.

Meanwhile, Bertuzzi would love to stay and -- for the right price -- probably will, while the likes of Adrian Aucoin, Jordan Leopold and Andre Roy are pretty much gone.

As well as Sutter has been able to juggle all the balls simultaneously in the past, he still prefers to strike items off his to-do list in order.

At the top of that list is deciding who'll be the coach.

It's just a matter of time before he finally breaks the silence.


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