Sutter won’t be cleaning house

CALGARY — Calgary GM Darryl Sutter doesn’t plan major changes even though the Flames were ousted from the first round of the NHL playoffs for the fourth straight year.

CALGARY — Calgary GM Darryl Sutter doesn’t plan major changes even though the Flames were ousted from the first round of the NHL playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Instead of holding a season-ending news conference, Sutter chose to meet the media one-on-one Monday to answer questions about the team’s exit in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks, and its immediate future.

“We have a nucleus of elite players that are looked on as elite players and they have to be that,” said Sutter from his office at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

“We’re not trading or moving elite players or anything like that. They’re good players and they’re the reason we’re a good team. We’ll find ways to make them better.”

Sutter said that he still has to have meetings with players and coaches to identify areas that the Flames have to improve to get better.

“Can you prioritize the importance of cutting goals against down?” Sutter asked. “Are you able to do that or can you prioritize the ability when you have so many elite players, why your power play’s not better?

“That’s what you work on.”

Coach Mike Keenan still has a year left on his contract and Sutter said it’s a reasonable expectation that his coach will be back for another season behind the bench.

“We have seven or eight coaches, which includes moving our farm team to Abbotsford,” said Sutter, who will evaluate the entire staff over the coming weeks. “Those guys are all together.

“It’s about a staff. It’s not about one person. It’ll all formulate into the mix with how we’re going to get better from within.”

While Sutter was disappointed that the Flames didn’t take the “next step” to advance further in the playoffs, he’s confident that the organization has a good group of veterans and prospects to remain competitive.

“You get better from personnel within the organization,” he said. “You have to put young players into the lineup.”

With injuries to defencemen Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, Cory Sarich and Adrian Aucoin and forwards Rene Bourque and Todd Bertuzzi, the Flames brought up several prospects from the Quad City Flames, especially at the end of the season.

“I think everybody that went in for our injured players all played really good,” Sutter said. “They gave us a chance to win every game.”

With injuries to Regehr, Sarich and Aucoin occurring late in the season, the Flames were even forced to play without a full roster near the end of the season.

“It was nothing to do with cap money,” Sutter said. “It was to do with long-term injuries. When we lost guys with less than 10 games left in the year, you couldn’t replace them.

“It’s really not a strong part of the CBA.”

When asked about the goaltending situation, Sutter agreed that Miikka Kiprusoff played too many games and that unrestricted free agent netminder Curtis McElhinney or another of the team’s goaltending prospects will have to step in and play more next season.

“We’re very fortunate to have the No. 1 goalie, but there is a point also where the reduction of minutes or games played and the development of another goalie is very important,” he said.

Among Calgary’s 10 unrestricted free agents, forwards Mike Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi are the two most high profile players that Sutter will have to decide on.

“You’re talking about two guys that have been here for a year,” Sutter said. “We don’t know how much that player likes it here or if his family likes it here. There’s a lot more that comes into it than just money.”

Sutter said that it’s not out of the question that the Flames can resign Cammalleri, who had a career season with a team-high 39 goals to go with 43 assists.

“He’s a good player, a good guy,” said the Calgary GM. “Him and I have a good relationship. We’ll work at it.”

Just Posted

Monarch butterflies have declined more that 80 per cent over the last two decades and scientists are trying to find out why. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Study suggests neonic pesticides harming monarch butterfly eggs

Research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology

People take part in a protest called ‘Justice for Joyce’ in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, where they demanded Justice for Joyce Echaquan and an end to systemic racism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec coroner’s inquest into death of Joyce Echaquan begins today

Echaquan died after being admitted with stomach pain

The Alberta Recyling Management Authority will host a used paint and oil recycling day on May 15. (Photo courtesy of ARMA)
Used oil and paint recycling event set this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians will have their first of three chances to recycle used… Continue reading

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris, right, celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with left wing Brady Tkachuk Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot from Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

United States goalie Alex Cavallini (33) deflects Canada's Marie Philip Poulin (29) shot during the first period in the women's 3-on-3 game, part of the NHL hockey All-Star weekend, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in St. Louis. Hockey Canada's roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women's hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Most Read