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Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has been feeling the heat. Last week, the bench boss was even trending on social media with fans asking for him to be fired and immediately replaced with Bruce Boudreau.
This came not only as the Flames are fighting for a playoff spot after they were projected as one of the strongest contenders in the West, but also following a terrible situation that exposed Sutter as a disrespectful coach.
Talks of Sutter being on the hot seat in Calgary recently, especially when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned that the biggest issue might be the head coach himself. It became clear that Sutter’s tough love approach might be getting out of hand over the weekend when, asked about rookie Jakob Pelletier’s NHL debut last month against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sutter was immensely disrespectful to the young player during the postgame press conference. It prompted Friedman to explain how the head coach and his approach have brought down the players in Calgary.
Team insider Julian MacKenzie met with GM Brad Treliving earlier this week and asked about Sutter and his approach with some players. Right away, Treliving addressed the Pelletier situation and confirmed he had held a meeting with Sutter about it.
“I thought (Darryl) had very good words about Jakob (last week). I haven’t seen a lot of those out there publicly. So, we’ve had a conversation and it’s been addressed. Words have impact, right? And regardless of what your intentions may or may not be, we have to be cognizant of what we’re saying.”
When asked about Sutter and his reluctance to give young players bigger roles, Treliving didn’t not want to debate coaching styles, but feels confident at the moment with Sutter behind his bench.
“He’s demanding on players and that brings out the best in them. I know we all want to rush the player as quickly to the NHL as possible. We’ve seen more failure with that than there’s been success. We continue to go through it. Jakob’s a perfect example. He was more than ready and more than deserving of the opportunity and we’re seeing him succeed.”
Let’s see if that success can be felt everywhere in the Flames’ dressing room and into the postseason. Once the action picks up after the All-Star Break, the Flames will need to keep fighting as they are just out of the last Wild-card spot in the Western conference.