Evaluation: Darryl Sutter - LA Kings Insider

This season: 40-27-15 record, 16-4 in playoffs.
The good: The Kings were stuck in neutral when Sutter arrived. He jump-started them, and it wasn’t as much about style and system as it was about attitude. Under Terry Murray, the Kings had become a bit stale, and Sutter’s arrival — with his intense focus on preparation — opened players’ eyes and gave them something of a fresh start. Sutter thinks like a player and does everything he can in order to put his players in a position to succeed. He pushes them hard, and isn’t shy about being critical of them, but everything is does is designed to make the team better, even if it bruises some egos along the way.
The bad: It’s tough to nit-pick a coach who came in mid-season and won the Stanley Cup. The only question is, will the bloom come off the rose at some point? Sutter’s high-intensity approach was exactly what the Kings needed in order to get turned around in the short term, but will the players be as receptive to it in Year 2 (and beyond)? Coaches such as Sutter have a tendency to wear players down over the years, particularly if the roster remains static. As the Kings attempt to defend their Stanley Cup championship, Sutter will have to be ever-mindful of not letting complacency settle into the Kings.
Going forward: Life is full of surprises. There were a lot of nervous faces around the Kings’ locker room in December, when players learned that Sutter would be replacing Murray. By June, the players gushed with praise about Sutter and what he had done to help improve the team’s mindset, and credited him with the team’s turnaround. The “book’’ on Sutter is wrong. He’s not a monster. Far from it. He is, however, intensely dedicated to the idea of “team’’ and anything or anyone who stands in the way of that — whether it be an underperforming player or a reporter — is liable to incur a bit of his wrath.

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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.