Brent's just biding his time

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

The Flames search for a new coach got so bizarre yesterday, Brent Sutter called a press conference to announce he'd need permission to talk to his own brother.

Yep, mere hours after announcing his resignation from the New Jersey Devils so he could return to Alberta to reconnect with family, he said he's now officially cut off from one of his closest siblings --Darryl, who just happens to be GM of a Flames team looking for a coach.

No more reminiscing about shinny on the family's Viking farm, ball hockey games in the loft, or even catching up on how the wives or kids are doing.

He insists they have not discussed a possible future with the Flames, nor are they to have contact with one another unless Darryl gets permission from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.

Right.

No contact at all to date, eh?

Here's the straight truth: Brent Sutter will coach the Calgary Flames.

Of the three coaches on Darryl's secret wish list, Brent is the only one available (with Sweet Lou's blessing, of course).

Instead of insisting his move was strictly to tend to his businesses and family matters for the next year, Brent said he most certainly wasn't done with the NHL.

He left the door open for a return and as soon as Lamoriello gives Darryl his blessing the deal will be consummated. It has probably already been drawn up verbally, but neither brother would ever admit to it as it's known as tampering.

Fact is, most of the Sutter brothers talk on a daily basis.

Just like in 2003, when team president Ken King relentlessly pursued the man on top of his list to coach the team, the Flames will get their man once again.

Money is not a concern to the Flames owners and as Gary Bettman confirmed last night, compensation is not an issue. Once Lamoriello gives his blessing for the two brothers to talk, the former Devils employee is free to go with no strings attached.

The only sticking point could be Lamoriello and, quite frankly, he'd prove to be a helluva guy to let Sutter cite family issues as an early exit from his contract only to turn around and sign on with a team the Devils could one day face in the Stanley Cup final.

No one could blame him for stifling the possibility of Brent's hiring, which has been rumoured for over a year.

If so, Brent will sign on with the Flames next year when his contract officially ends.

Sooner or later it will happen, with the odds heavily skewed to a deal announced within the week.

Darryl refused to comment yesterday, insisting on silence until a coach is hired or he takes the job by default.

Had Brent planned on focusing strictly on the Red Deer Rebels team he owns, working the ranch or staying home with his family, he would have said so.

Instead of quashing any possibility of a Flames future, he simply repeated the fact Lou holds all the cards.

None of this is to suggest homesickness isn't the real motivation behind the move.

Fourteen years ago, Darryl walked away from the Blackhawks to return home to Alberta so young son Christopher could get extra attention and assistance after being born with Down Syndrome.

Family is obviously a huge part of life as a Sutter.

That said, the chance to work with three brothers in Calgary (Ron is a scout and Duane is director of player personnel) just 130 km from his Red Deer home is alluring to say the least.

It will happen.

Sutter just had a funny way of saying it yesterday.


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