Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/03/12 at 10:07 PM ET
from Rich Hammond at the LA Kings website,
After two weeks, there have been no public whippings. The locker-room carpet is not soaked in blood. No eardrums have been pierced. What happened? Isn’t Darryl Sutter supposed to be a raging, raving dictator?
Hired by the Kings as coach on Dec. 20, Sutter was preceded by his reputation as a humorless taskmaster who would terrify players and snarl at the media. One Canadian columnist compared him to malaria. Even a mostly positive newspaper piece described Sutter’s public personality as ``caustic’’ and ``contemptuous.’’
“I heard he’s a bit of a yeller,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said, a couple days before Sutter’s arrival.
When Sutter left the family farm in Alberta last month, did he do so as a changed man? Maybe, maybe not. With the Kings, he’s been more teddy bear than grizzly bear. During games, he wraps his arms around players, pats shoulders and offers encouragement. For a full week, at the end of postgame interviews, he sincerely wished reporters “Merry Christmas,” then “Happy New Year.” He has been accessible, helpful and friendly.
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