Is Darryl Sutter's style becoming outdated?

When asked about rookie Jakob Pelletier’s NHL debut on Hockey Day in Canada, Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter said the 21-year-old had 'long ways to go', prompting some to ask if Sutter's no nonsense style is becoming outdated in the modern era.

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I think Daryl Sutter flew a little too close to the sun with this one. I could understand that he is very old school. And he shouldn't have to prop up every player and just be this-- just praising everybody as he feels. Fine, if that's what you want to do, that's what you ought to do. All right, that's it.

But to get to a point where you're just like, who? What number is that? What's the stat line? I can understand fine, maybe you spoke to him. Apparently the news came out that Sutter had gone to the rookie the day after he made that comment and told him he played a good game. But you come across as callous. You come across as a jerk when you do this.

And a lot of people in the hockey world are not happy about how Daryl Sutter handled this. And I don't know why we need coaches who do this. And it's not as if you need to do anything. He didn't need to say anything elaborate because the kid only played like six and a half minutes.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: All he had to say was just like, all right, it was good. He was in the lineup. It's a shame we couldn't-- he couldn't play more. That's it. But it's a story now.

OMAR: Mm-hmm. And another thing too, aside from the rookie comments, so the Calgary Flames are clearly a different team. The Matthew Tkachuk trade, Johnny Gaudreau leaves--


OMAR: And I'd never realized how pissed off Darryl Sutter was about that until recently, where he's literally talked about, well, last year we had this, and last year we had that, and last year we had this, and we lost this player, and we lost that. Imagine being on--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You know what? Hold on. Stop, stop for a second here.

OMAR: Mm-hmm.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't-- that just goes to the duality of Darryl Sutter because at the beginning of the year when someone asked him about the difference between Matthew Tkachuk and Tyler Toffoli, he said, someone won Stanley Cups. So you're either mad about this, or you ain't. I don't know if he's necessarily all that mad about--

OMAR: That's what I'm saying.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know.

OMAR: It's like he's--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I'm not saying he can't be mad about those two players going. But I don't know. We have questions about that.

OMAR: Because we're in-- you're in the season, man. This is the team you have. And I don't think-- it doesn't do any good-- to your point, Julian, it doesn't help to continue to talk about, oh, this is what we had last year. And oh, well, last year, we could outscore. Last year we had a couple of 40-goal scorers.

Imagine being Nazem Kadri on the team or Jonathan Huberdeau--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Jonathan Huberdeau--

OMAR: --who just signed-- who just extended long-term and is being compared continuously to people who are not there anymore.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Or is being told, oh, you're not an impact goal scorer, which has happened.


And I mean, no disrespect. Fine, he's hit 30 goals twice.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: And again could-- I can understand that might be a little maddening to some people. This tough love that you're bringing, it only works to a point. After a while, you get fed up. And you're just like, I don't want to deal with this. I'm not-- we're not-- I'm not trying to say stuff's going on in Calgary. But if I was a player on that team, man, I'd express so much frustration at the fact that, no matter what you do--

And I get that the team isn't playing as well as they should be playing. But there have been so many instances where you think, OK, we could happy about this. It's like, no, you didn't play a 60-minute effort. It must be so frustrating to play through if you're the Calgary Flames.

Anyway, before I take over this topic--

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: And there's a limit too-- and of course, there's going to be times where you have the hard love. But when you're talking-- when you're dealing with grown-- when you're dealing with grown people, grown men, that hard attitude can only last so long before it gets tuned out.

You're dealing with, again, grown adults. This isn't junior hockey. This isn't NCAA or youth sports. You're talking about grown men.

And also too, the comments on Pelletier from Sutter-- it was a question, I believe, from our pal Salim Valji--


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: --from TSN, who asked the question.


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: And one thing I always hear coaches and players say, you know what? Ask me a question. That was a direct and great question from Salim that Daryl Sutter didn't answer. Someone asked him a direct question. Your thoughts on Pelletier's play.

And he went into this little show and dance about his stats. But, man, answer his question. Answer the question. He asked you a question directly. Just answer the question. No need for this whole song and dance about his stats-- none needed.

OMAR: Go on, Avry.