During the second intermission of last night's game, the Edmonton Oilers fired general manager Peter Chiarelli, and it was made public hours after the team fell 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings. The damage has been done, however, it is about time to turn a new leaf.
According to Sportsnet's John Shannon, the search for a new GM in Edmonton begins immediately. Many NHL insiders believe that for a true fresh start, the Oilers will need to look outside the organization.
That is why TSN's Darren Dreger brings forth an interesting suggestion: Darryl Sutter.
The veteran head coach and former NHL forward announced he was done coaching when Barry Trotz left the Washington Capitals last summer and people started to wonder if Sutter would be interested in landing the gig.
"Forty years, that’s enough," the 60-year-old had told Sportsnet when asked if he’d consider the Washington gig that became vacant when Trotz resigned following the Stanley Cup win.
"No way, I’d be too far away from the grandkids."
However, the grandkids wouldn't be too far if he took the job as GM in Edmonton, as his ranch is not too far from Calgary. As mentioned by Dreger, "if Darryl Sutter has any interest in leaving the ranch and returning to the NHL grind, he will be on the list of men the Oilers hope to talk to."
After a three-and-a-half year run as the Flames general manager, Sutter resigned before Christmas 2010, exactly eight years to the day after he joined the Flames as head coach. He returned behind a bench the next year as coach of the Kings, barely getting his team into the playoffs before beating the top three seeds and hoisting his first Cup. He did it again in 2014.
While the challenge sounds monumental in Edmonton, Sutter could be interested to take it on.
Shannon believes that some of the top candidates for the job in Edmonton are Mike Gillis, Mark Hunter, Kelly McCrimmon and Mike Futa. He also dared to add former Flyers GM Ron Hextall as a candidate and also dropped the name of Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, whose contract is soon coming to end in Hockey Town and the rumors keep growing that former captain and NHL great Steve Yzerman is ready to take over with the Red Wings.
Sutter earned 635 wins as an NHL coach and he accomplished it by pushing and challenging his players beyond what made many of them comfortable. He could possibly do the same as a GM and make the Oilers a true contender.