No x’s or o’s. No discussion of the forecheck, seam passing or the umbrella. Breakouts, regroups, even something as intangible as effort is beyond the scope of this article.
Darryl Sutter has a deep, reverberating voice.
He has unusual facial expressions that amuse, bemuse (if you have no sense of humor) and invoke wonder.
His answers to questions are short and blunt.
He doesn’t care for the media but tolerates them.
He doesn’t call out players in the media. He protects them.
He is intense, vocal and hands on with his team.
He is a farmer, used to shit under his finger nails and hard manual labor.
He isn’t scared of you. He could give a damn if you disagree with him. And that especially includes those who wear press passes or consider themselves insiders.
He is that grandfather you dig…but who can also snap a man’s neck in three seconds.
He is honest…no cliches. No answer he gives to a direct question sounds like an answer to a different question. There is no politics in Darryl Sutter. There is no filter.
Darryl Sutter isn’t Voss. He is tap water. He isn’t Châteauneuf-du-Pape. He is grape juice. He isn’t Johnny Walker Blue Label. He is Jack Daniels.
Darryl Sutter isn’t a suit, a tie, a face or a sound bite.
In Los Angeles, where so much of what we see is glitz, glamour, extreme wealth followed by decimating poverty, selfishness, greed, lust and gluttony, Darryl Sutter brings substance over style, passion over posturing, inspiration over adulation.
The players love him because he, like most hockey players at their core, are crass, politically incorrect soldiers who live for the fight and the victories. He motivates when our last coach couldn’t and, by his own admission, wouldn’t. Stoic? Fuck stoic. You’re going to know exactly what is on Darryl Sutter’s mind. Those facial expressions you love match perfectly with his vocabulary. What may seem obtuse to some is actually brilliant in its simplicity because he isn’t trying to be anything other than himself…and “himself” works. It’s what he knows.
While we focus on the L.A. Kings’ play on the ice and the tweaks and adjustments Sutter has made to the product we see, let’s understand why he works.
This is a guy born to coach. He should have never become a GM.
I am a fan.