At Darryl Sutter‘s initial press conference with the LA media most of the statements were pretty standard fare. It was about what you’d expect for a new coach being brought in to take over a struggling team.
The obvious highlight was Sutter ending his speaking portion at the podium by flashing double peace signs (pictured here). And there was one other little tidbit that caught the attention of several in the crowd. When asked about his plan for the assistant coaches, Sutter said John Stevens had done an awesome job helping the team through the transition and he knew goaltending coach Bill Ranford from the past. He also said Jamie Kompon did a lot of work in the locker room.
Then, came this – “We just want to focus on – especially being so close to the holidays – I just want to focus on this group. That’s the best way to put it. I’m satisfied. I’m good. Those guys are familiar with the team and that really helps.”
Being so close to the holidays?
Hall of Fame writer Helene Elliott of the LA Times was even tweeting about that quote as recently as last night, following the game in Winnipeg.
“Yeah, absolutely,” said the new Kings coach. “I put a lot of stock into that. That’s the most important part about closing the gap, is familiarity with the players. I don’t believe it’s coach and assistant coaches. I believe it’s sort of all of us working together. We can all handle different parts. When we talked about the power play, it’s not like it’s me on the power play. A big part of it is the players. I’ve got no issues with staff.”
Murray had gone back and forth on the roles of the coaches. At times Kompon was in charge of the power play, at other times that was something he took charge of. How do you distribute roles and responsibilities?
“We’re all together on it. We can divvy stuff out, but at the end of the day, you have to all be together. What you see on the ice, you’re doing it together. When you close the doors, you’re not breaking out that much.”
There you have it. Another topic that can be checked off the list.