Five years ago, when the Ducks brought the Kings to the verge of elimination in their second-round playoff series, Darryl Sutter seized the moment like only he can.
In a postgame news conference at Honda Center, Sutter sarcastically praised Ducks goalie John Gibson when he said, “He’s the best goalie I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe we got one by him.”
It was Sutter at his cutting best — tersely in command of a team on its way to its second Stanley Cup championship, at the expense of its rival.
To think that Sutter would one day be on the Ducks’ side seemed as plausible as an ice storm in July, but snow fell last week when Sutter was hired as an advisor to the Ducks’ coaching staff. The move reverberated locally and beyond, although Sutter didn’t think it registered high on the irony scale.
“Not a big deal,” Sutter said in a phone interview this week from his cattle ranch in Viking, Canada. “[They’re a] divisional rival. It’s not just the Ducks. I’ve [also] watched Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary the past couple of years.”
As awkward as it will be to see Sutter on the Ducks’ side — he said he will be at training camp in September and at some games — his hiring was logical given his longtime tie to former Chicago Blackhawks teammate and Ducks general manager Bob Murray, and his respect for first-year coach Dallas Eakins.