Darryl Sutter answered questions earlier today about Tanner Pearson – more on that later – and shared with reporters how playing with Jarret Stoll influences players around him to work harder. Stoll had previously been referenced by Dean Lombardi as an example for younger players to follow when they’re in town for Development Camp over the summer.
“There’s the hour and a half where Matt Greene, Dustin Brown, Jarret Stoll are working in the weight room, and you see how hard those guys work, and that these guys are Stanley Cup Champions or whatever, you know what? No words of wisdom are worth as much as that,” Lombardi said last July. “That’s the thing – I talk about culture and the whole thing when you have that, how that can translate, and I don’t have to say anything. There’s Jarret Stoll. Look at that. See? Figure it out.”
On Wednesday, Sutter was asked if Stoll is the prototypical player for the role that he plays.
“Absolutely,” he answered. “Well-trained, great practice habits, knows the game, understands his role. He’s going to be a good coach.”
His answers grew introspective when asked about whether Stoll wants to be a coach upon the conclusion of his playing days.
“I have no idea,” he answered. “There’s always older players that you look on. It’s harder and harder because players now – guys like us, role guys, had to stay in coaching or find something else to do in a hurry because you didn’t make enough money. You didn’t have the income, and you were done. The average career is four-to-10 years. What was I going to do when I was 29? I had to do something, and I hadn’t done nothin’ else. I didn’t want to be a coach, because you didn’t think about it. So that was never motivation or what you looked at, and you have no idea how you’ll do once you start it. I’ve still been really lucky. There are a lot of guys that are in the game now that I coached that are coaching. So you helped them along the way. That’s good to see them still.”
Whether or not a knack for coaching came immediately to Sutter was answered with nuance.
“Well, I was much different because I was 29 years old, and I wasn’t good enough to play in the league anymore. I had to find that out. Did I like it at the start? No. I was an assistant. I was an assistant coach, and I didn’t like that. I was fortunate to be in an organization that molded me, that let me go be a head coach at the level I should have been at, which was a level down.”
Sutter spent the 1987-88 season as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks before gaining experience in the International Hockey League for two years, winning the Turner Cup in 1990 with the Indianapolis Ice. He returned to Chicago to serve as an associate coach before being promoted to the head coach of the Blackhawks in 1992.
Having coached 216 games with Chicago, 434 with San Jose, 210 with Calgary and 166 with Los Angeles, Sutter’s 1,026 games coached trails his brother Brian Sutter by two games for 17th place on the NHL’s all-time regular season games coached list. The Kings’ next win will mark the 500th regular season win of Sutter’s coaching career.