LA Magazine: The Ice Age of Coach Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

Writer Paul Brownfield, a Los Angeles native based in Brooklyn, embedded himself with the Kings during training camp and part of the preseason as he prepared a longform feature on Darryl Sutter. The end result, which was published last month, is outstanding. An excerpt is below, but you’re cheating yourself if you don’t read the entire thing before the start of tonight’s Kings-Canucks game.

From Los Angeles Magazine, December, 2014: The Ice Age of Coach Darryl Sutter

Those six left home—a two-bedroom house on 1,400 acres—as soon as they were old enough to play for junior teams. The plan was not to return to the farm before you’d played in the NHL at least until you turned 30. Knee problems dictated that Darryl, the third eldest, made it only to 29, the shortest playing career of any Sutter. He still has the scars, though, that prove he earned his keep. In 1984, when Darryl was a forward with the Chicago Blackhawks, he took a puck to the face that broke his nose, cheekbone, and left orbital bone, which in turn caused his eye to fall into his sinus cavity. Thirty years later that eye sits on a piece of plastic and wiring, and if you pinch him on the cheek, he won’t feel it. “It’s kind of weird, actually,” Sutter said, explaining that the nerve damage means he feels only “a tingle” when he bites his lip.

Injuries—even ones as severe as Sutter’s—don’t set you apart in hockey. The idea of sacrifice, particularly playing through extreme physical pain, is woven into the warrior culture of the sport. So Sutter surprised me when he said he had disappointed his mother after high school by turning down college scholarships to several Ivy League schools in order to play in the junior leagues and then professional hockey in Japan. Lombardi, the Kings’ GM, had told me Sutter passed on an offer of a full ride from Princeton; when I asked Sutter, he said that Harvard and Yale had recruited him as well. “I had years in high school where the only B I got was in physical education,” he said. That he passed up an Ivy League education reveals something fundamental about the man Kings fans are relying on to keep them in trophies: He is a lot more than what he appears to be. It is for outsiders to write him off as an incomprehensible, Fargo-esque character. The players swear by Sutter just as Sutter stands by them—a chemistry that means he gets the most out of his roster on more nights than he doesn’t. They are, you know, a team.

In case you missed the earlier link, there’s another one here.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.