Devil is in the details

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Announcing their third coach since Darryl Sutter relinquished his role behind the bench to focus solely on his duties as GM, the Calgary Flames think they've struck gold again.

"The most significant change, and perhaps the most significant contribution that we've had for many years," Flames president Ken King said of the addition of Darryl's younger brother Brent as the latest to try and lead a strong group of players back to the Stanley Cup final.

The addition of Brent as head coach means five Sutters now work for the Flames.

Brothers Duane (director of player personnel), Ron (scout) and Darryl's son Brett, (player) are also employed by the team. Darryl agreed it was a pretty big signing.

"It's a big day," Darryl said.

"To be able to get who I think is the best free-agent coach out there, and to have the group together and see how they're going to work, it's an awesome thing."

Adding assistants Ryan McGill, Dave Lowry and Jamie McLennan to the mix, the Flames are ecstatic about their prospects for this season, and believe the culture Darryl started in 2002 will be reborn with his brother at the helm.

Brent is already eager to get back to business after resigning his post as head coach of the New Jersey Devils June 9 to be closer to his family just outside of Red Deer.

"Our job is to give the players an environment that they have the opportunity to succeed in," Brent said. "The standards in this organization are high and, to be quite honest -- I can speak on behalf of the whole coaching staff -- we wouldn't want it any other way. That's our standards, too. The process starts today, and I'm very, very excited about it."

Not so excited is Devils ownership.

Although GM Lou Lamoriello granted the Flames permission June 12 to talk to Brent about the job made available when Mike Keenan was fired May 22, Devils chairman and managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek didn't hide his disappointment yesterday.

"It's surprising and upsetting," said Vanderbeek.

"The conversations that Lou was having and even to the extent that I had (with Brent) really all revolved around his family, specifically his daughter (Brooke) who is going to be a senior. Never was there any inkling that this was about taking a head coaching job so soon thereafter."

The Sutters maintain there were no discussions of that before Darryl sought permission. No compensation was necessary, just an OK from the Devils to get the ball rolling.

Vanderbeek was upset about that, but Lamoriello was understanding.

"When I received a call from Darryl, two things go through your mind -- you either make the decision to say, 'no', which you have the right to do when there is time remaining on a contract because a commitment is a commitment," said the Devils GM.

"Then, what you do is you handle it with its uniqueness and extenuating circumstances and then you make a decision.

"That decision was to allow Calgary to speak to him knowing that once you allow that, there is no compensation, which you cannot get anymore in these situations. So, you just move forward."

That's a little more difficult for Vanderbeek to do.

"I understand the intent of it and (the old CBA rule of compensation) probably was abused over time," Vanderbeek said. "But certainly, just based on knowing the conversations we had, it leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth."


Videos

Photos