Oilers add a Sutter to staff
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
|Duane Sutter, at left June 25 with Flames draft pick Tyler Wotherspoon, will not be back as the club's director of scouting, according to a QMI Agency source. (BRUCE BENNETT/Getty Images/AFP)
EDMONTON - Duane Sutter is not sure why it’s taken so long for a member of his famous hockey family to work for the Edmonton Oilers.
Especially considering they hail from practically the team’s back yard.
“That’s a good question,” said Sutter. “I know Brian was drafted by the Oilers back in 1976 (WHA Entry Draft) but never ended up playing there.
“Then when Darryl was hired in Calgary, he brought myself and Brent along so we kind of settled down there. But I’m not sure why none of us have gone through Edmonton before. I guess it just wasn’t in the cards.”
That has now changed as the Oilers announced on Monday they had hired Sutter as a professional scout. He’ll work under Oilers head pro scout Morey Gare, and alongside Michael Abbamont, Chris Chihocki and Dave Semenko.
“I’m excited about joining the organization,” Sutter said. “They have some great young talent and lots of depth in their system. Led by Kevin (Lowe) and Steve (Tambellini) in the last two years they’ve done a hell of a job.
“Their drafting has been excellent and they have a huge upside.”
Sutter, 51, brings over 30 years of NHL experience and four Stanley Cup rings to the Oilers organization.
He first approached the Oilers about the possibility of working for the club at this summer’s NHL draft.
After consideration, the Oilers decided Sutter would be a good fit to their staff.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding someone of Duane’s calibre to our scouting staff,” said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini in a statement. “Duane brings a vast knowledge of the game and will complement our staff very well.”
One of six brothers to play in the NHL, Sutter had been working in the Calgary Flames organization for the previous three years.
The Viking native was most recently acting as the club’s director of player personnel before parting ways with the team in June.
“You expected some changes there,” Sutter said. “The Flames are taking a different route. With the change in GM he wanted to bring in different people. That’s just part of the game.”
Prior to joining the Flames, Sutter spent the better part of 12 years in the Florida Panthers organization, serving as head coach from 2000 to 2002.
He also worked as an assistant coach before taking on a scouting and player development role with the club in 2003.
Originally selected by the New York Islanders in the first round — 17th overall — of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, Sutter played 11 seasons, winning four Stanley Cups.
He spent eight years with the Islanders before concluding his playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks.
As a member of the Oilers scouting staff, Sutter will be evaluating NHL talent. It’s a similar role he first had with the Flames before taking over their amateur scouting and player development responsibilities.
“I think having worked as an amateur scout for the past couple of years will be beneficial in this position,” Sutter said. “I’ll know the kids well that have come up and are just turning pro.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of working with the Oilers.”