This was discussed mid-season as a possible scenario that would play out when the season was over because Brent Sutter was missed his family and farm in Calgary.
According to TSN:
Brent Sutter has stepped down as head coach of the New Jersey Devils, citing personal and family reasons.
"It might not be the right decision for some people and that's fine," Sutter said during a Tuesday conference call from Red Deer, Alta. "I don't look at it like I am quitting on anything. I threw two years of my life and made a big commitment 3,000 miles away from where my life was and tried to do everything I possibly could to accomplish a goal.
"So by me doing that my life has suffered in other areas, and those areas to me are bigger than the game."
Sutter has a year left on his contract with New Jersey.
"I resigned my position as head coach and if there is anything that needs to be done I'll be there for them," Sutter told the Canadian Press on Tuesday.
"Although disappointed, we respect the reasons for Brent's decision and appreciate everything he has accomplished over the last two years," Devils president, CEO and general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a media release.
If Sutter is to become a candidate for the vacant Calgary Flames' head coaching position, the Flames would have to ask permission from New Jersey Devils' GM Lou Lamoriello to speak with Sutter.
Lamoriello would be within his rights to refuse that permission because Sutter owes the Devils a year on his contract and, technically, if he's going to coach in the NHL next season it must be for the Devils.
But if Lamoriello wanted to effectively let Sutter out of the final year of his contract, Lamoriello could do so by simply giving permission to the Flames to talk to Sutter.
NHL rules do not permit for compensation so if Lamoriello were to grant permission, he would be doing so knowing he would be freeing Sutter of his contractual obligations in New Jersey.
That scenario, were it to play out, would pave the way for Sutter to coach in Calgary.
If not, though, Sutter would be content knowing that he's back in Red Deer with his family and focusing on his ranch and his Western Hockey League franchise, the Red Deer Rebels.
At the end of the day, it's Lamoriello who holds the cards on whether Brent Sutter is a candidate in Calgary.
I don't see Lamoriello releasing Sutter from his contract for the upcoming season. I think that Brent Sutter will eventually coach the Calgary Flames, but he may have to sit out an entire season in order to do so. In the mean time, his brother Darryl (currently the Flames GM) may step in and fill the coaching position next season, until Brent is no longer contracted to the New Jersey Devils.
Let the rumors commence as to who will be behind the bench for both the Devils & Flames next season. Will John MacLean finally get his shot in New Jersey as the head coach? Will Larry Robinson come back again? What say you Devils fans?
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