Monday, June 22, 2009

Branding time at the Flaming C ranch

If the reports out of the farmlands of Alberta are correct, the Calgary Flames are about ready to announce the name of their newest coach and for those that found Brent Sutter's sudden departure from New Jersey interesting, the next announcement we hear may be positively conspirational for more than a few in the league.

The clock is ticking it seems towards an announcement within 48 hours which will see General Manager Darryl Sutter turn over the coaching reins to his brother Brent, solidifying the Sutter grip on the southern Alberta franchise, and confirming what just about everyone thought was going to happen when Brent left the collegial atmosphere of Lou Lamoriello's Devils.

And while the announcement will come as not much of a surprise, it will probably provoke one or two comments that the nature of it's genesis doesn't seem right. When brother Sutter left the Devils, more than one person suggested that there should be a one year minimum cooling off period, where he would have to sit out the year in the NHL as penance for his early departure from the Devils.

It's an issue that won't be stirring up much debate in southern Alberta, though the folks up north might like to make a little noise with it for old times animosity sake. And we suspect that in order for Brent to try and put back together the Flames his former team will be provided with a wonderful parting gift on his behalf.

More importantly, considering the troubles that are dogging Gary Bettman at the moment, there's a very good chance he won't even offer an opinion on this one, letting it slide under the NHL radar, like more than a few interesting items seem to these days.

Once the announcement is made however (providing it comes forth) one has to wonder if not the floodgates will have been opened for the coaching carousel, where asking out of a contract one day could morph into a better opportunity a month down the line.

It would make for an interesting position for the NHL to offer up an opinion on, considering their "good for the game" and "following prescribed procedures" thoughts that they have put forward regarding the Jim Balsillie quests.

However, more than likely the selective interpretations as to what is a prescribed procedure will continue, we suspect that the Sutter's will be reunited in Calgary in a few short days.

Regardless of the contradictions to procedures or optics of the move.

National Post-- Flames’ unveiling of Sutter as head coach nears
National Post-- Brent Sutter likely to become new Flames coach
Globe and Mail-- All in the Family at Calgary's Saddledome
Calgary Sun-- Brent Sutter deal close
Calgary Herald-- Brent Sutter rumours heat up

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