Darryl Sutter, brought aboard as the Calgary Flames’ new head coach on Thursday, denied serious allegations made by former NHL winger Daniel Carcillo.
According to Carcillo, Sutter kicked one player and mentally abused another who was suffering from a concussion during Sutter’s coaching stint with the Los Angeles Kings.
Those allegations, made in 2019 regarding incidents that allegedly occurred in the 2013-14 season, were never corroborated, and Sutter had not commented on them until Friday’s introductory news conference.
When asked whether Carcillo’s allegations were true, Sutter said, “No. I think honesty and truth always prevails. We’ll just leave (it at) that.”
Carcillo told ESPN on Friday that the Flames hiring another coach who had been accused of kicking a player is indicative of hockey’s systemic problems. Then-Calgary coach Bill Peters resigned in November 2019 amid charges that he racially abused a player.
“The truth of the matter is that hockey is its own worst enemy,” Carcillo said. “I’ve continued to say it. This hiring shows that. There’s been numerous accusations against the Sutter family — not just Darryl — about the way they treat people and the abuse that’s prevailed in organizations that they’ve been head coaches of and general managers of. I wasn’t saying anything new.”
Carcillo played 26 games with the Kings in 2013-14 when Sutter was the head coach.
In November 2019, Carcillo said Sutter kicked a player in the lower back on the bench and called out Kings defenseman Matt Greene because Greene had a concussion.
“Sutter said, I quote, ‘What the (expletive) are you doing here? I don’t want your negative energy in here. You’re injured. Get out,'” Carcillo told the Global News in 2019.
When asked on Friday if he had changed, Sutter, 62, said he has always related well to players.
“I have children that are the same age as most of our players,” he said. “A have a lot of respect for them and what they’re going through in their lives, not so much on the ice as off the ice. I’ve always had a great relationship with what’s going on with players off the ice. It’s something I’ve felt really good about, being able to help young players get through situations.”
Sutter took over for Geoff Ward, who was fired Thursday. Sutter was immediately announced as general manager Brad Treliving’s fifth head coach in seven years.
“There’s a group of five or six players who have started their careers here and have been here through all those coaches,” Sutter said Friday. “What’s important for them to know now is that I’m here with them and I’m going to stick with them and whatever works best for them is what I’m going to do.”.
–Field Level Media