Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Will a former Devil be the newest Flame?

Expect a big announcement today out of New Jersey.

Late Monday night, reports surfaced out of Calgary that Brent Sutter is stepping down as head coach of the New Jersey Devils, leaving the door wide open for him to join his older brother Darryl in Calgary.

Earlier this spring, the Flames fired "Iron" Mike Keenan after another disappointing first round exit and Flames general manager Darryl Sutter has been his usual self when asked about possible replacements, not saying a whole lot.

Under Brent Sutter the Devils won an Atlantic division title, despite the absence of Martin Brodeur for a good chunk of the season, but lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

In two seasons, Sutter compiled a record of 97-56-11 behind the bench with two first-round exits from the playoffs.

During the off-season, he has publicly stated that his return to New Jersey would be based on family and business commitments in Red Deer (he spent eight seasons as the owner, president, GM and coach of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels before making the hop to the NHL).

In a press conference in late May, Darryl Sutter proclaimed "Right now, I'm the best one," when asked about possible candidates to replace Keenan. He went on to say "There are three guys who are excellent (but) I won't tell you who they are."

The Flames GM made it clear that if, at the end of his search, he thought he was the best candidate, he would be the new coach.

It's not a real stretch that one of those three guys Darryl Sutter spoke of could his brother Brent. I mean, 41 games over .500 in two seasons is pretty impressive. Especially when you consider his number one goalie was on the shelf for most of this past season.

Was the elder Sutter waiting to see if his younger brother was available before making a move? I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

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