I got a chance to catch up with Darryl Sutter this morning — he had been working with hay on the farm earlier — and he gave an update on his search to hire a new assistant coach to replace Jamie Kompon…

SUTTER: “What I’ve done is, I’ve had guys fly in and spend a day at the farm with me, and guys that I know. I was looking for very specific things. I prefer guys with coaching experience. I prefer a guy that knows the Western Conference. I want a guy that’s hands-on. I want a guy that’s a good communicator. I want a guy that’s preferably not over-the-hill. So, it has tightened up a lot, because quite honestly you have a lot of people that are interested in it, but to me, it’s like I tell them, I want the best free agent out there. It was no slight on Jamie or nothing. I just wanted a different type of coach. With a young team, you need to be really hands-on, and it’s got to come from more than just one or two guys. It’s got to come from everybody. That’s what I’m looking for. We’ve got it narrowed down. It’s just a matter of really cleaning it up, because you want to be sure.

“That’s what a head coach should do, is make sure of his own staff. It’s not about the head coach. It has to be about the whole staff, and the style that you want to play and making sure that you can communicate that. It’s tough to come down to one guy, because there are probably a lot of qualified guys, but once I get it to (a short list), there are specific areas that I know guys can be really good at, and those areas, to me, are critical. I’d prefer a (former) head coach. I’d prefer one from the Western Conference. I’d prefer guys that are young. I’d prefer guys that are really hands-on guys. And, quite honestly, I’d prefer if they were a better coach than me. One thing I’ve always really enjoyed is having really good staffs. Not just from a coaching standpoint but from a personal standpoint too, because they’re basically the guys you spend 18 hours a day with, for 10 months.’’

Incidentally, congratulations to Scott Pellerin, assistant coach for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, who has been named head coach of the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the affiliate of the New York Islanders.

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