Flames agree to multi-year contract extension with head coach Darryl Sutter

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter speaks about making the Flames championship contenders and discusses his agreement with Flames GM Brad Treliving to accomplish that after signing a multi-year contract extension.

When Darryl Sutter accepted the head coaching job with the Calgary Flames in March 2021, it came with a promise to straighten out the team for the long run.

The reigning Jack Adams Award winner signed a multi-year contract extension with the team on Saturday just days before the start of the regular season. After missing the playoffs in 2020-2021, Sutter led the Flames to a 50-21-11 season and the Pacific Division title last year before getting bounced in the second round of the post-season.

"When I came here, I promised we would get this straightened back out again," Sutter said. "It's not just a straighten-out, one-year thing. It's the long haul.

"In order to become a legitimate contender, you have to do it over and over and over to get there. The way you do that is you have to build that and you have to establish either an identity or a style of play or a core group of players that are committed to the long-term. All those things are involved in it, and I think in some ways I feel like I have a responsibility to be a steward in that."

Sutter, who led the team to its last appearance in a Stanley Cup finals back in the 2003-2004 season, is 65-36-11 overall since taking over the job.

"I think we're fortunate to have him," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Saturday. "I think he's one of the best coaches in the game here today. I've said many times, I think he has and continues to have a Hall of Fame career.

"The structure he puts in place, his ability to drive teams, it was a natural. Darryl and I talked about it this summer, and we've been working on it and good to get it concluded. Very deserving."

Prior to accepting the job, Sutter had not coached in the NHL since the 2016-2017 season with the Los Angeles Kings, who he won two Stanley Cups with back in 2011-2012 and 2013-2014.

Sutter is 699-503-94 with 101 ties in 19 seasons with the Flames, Kings, San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks. His 699 wins are 11th-most in NHL history for a head coach. He is 94-88 in the post-season, tied for the sixth most wins.

Calgary will be entering the regular season with a new-look team.

After star Johnny Gaudreau darted for the Columbus Blue Jackets early in free agency, the Flames sent star Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round pick to the Florida Panthers on July 22 after Tkachuk's agent informed Treliving he would not sign a long-term deal with the team.

Calgary acquired forward Jonathan Huberdeau and defenceman MacKenzie Weegar in exchange, along with Cole Schwindt and the Panthers' lottery-protected 2025 first-round selection

After signing Huberdeau to an eight-year, US$84 million extension on Aug. 5, the Flames handed defenceman MacKenzie Weegar an eight-year, US$50 million contract extension on Friday.

The Flames also signed forward Nazem Kadri in free agency to a seven-year, US$49 million contract on Aug. 18.

With a new-look team on his hands, the 64-year-old's views of the team are on the brighter side.

"I really like our team," Sutter said. "Quite honestly, it's a mature group that understands the whole process a lot better, for sure, than they did two years ago. And that means there's been a big turnover in that group, which we obviously didn't expect that necessarily to happen this quickly.

"I still really feel the foundation is there, and it takes time because of the foundation, types of player change."

Calgary will open the regular season at home against Kadri's former team, the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, on Oct. 13.

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