SUN Hockey Pool

Iginla: GM had good one-liners

WES GILBERTSON Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 PM ET

Even with a sudden abundance of free time, don’t expect to see Darryl Sutter recruited as a headlining act for any of the local comedy shops.

Known more for his scowl than any sort of smile, the Calgary Flames’ now-former general manager isn’t exactly a laugh factory.

But ...

“He had some great one-liners,” insisted Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

Such as?

“One day in Montreal, it was when he first got here, Connie and I, we were trying to have a real big game and we were having just a terrible game,” recalled Iginla, harkening back to Sutter’s stint as Calgary’s head coach before moving upstairs.

“You’re going bad and you know when your name’s not called anymore that you’re pretty much benched. And he doesn’t say it, but then he says, ‘Hey, you two, don’t worry, I won’t put you on the big, bad ice. You’re all done. I wouldn’t want you to go out there and break a nail.”

Sutter’s all done at the Saddledome.

The Flames announced Wednesday morning that the 52-year-old executive had been asked — and agreed — to resign his post.

Iginla and defenceman Robyn Regehr are the only skaters that have remained with the team ever since Sutter arrived at the Saddledome eight years ago.

And although Iginla and Sutter have opposite approaches and public personas, the Flames captain reiterated Wednesday afternoon he had a “good relationship” with his longtime boss.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Iginla said. “He’s an intense guy. He was a hard guy, but he was an honest guy and if you were playing well, he would let you know — and vice versa. You definitely respect that.”

Sutter’s respect for Iginla has also been obvious over the years.

The former NHL workhorse built his squad around the smiling sharpshooter and will be remembered for failing in his seemingly endless question to find a top-flight centre to pair with the two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner.

With Sutter standing behind the bench and Iginla starring on the ice, the Flames advanced to Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, only to fall just short.

“My career, he’s been a big part of it,” Iginla said. “We went from rebuilding, being out of the playoffs for many years and I got to experience looking up in the stands and seeing it a lot more sparse, to all of a sudden we were a better team and a lot of exciting times and being one goal away from winning the Stanley Cup.

“There’s been a lot of good times.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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