Darryl Sutter is a good coach, but he would probably be a bad fit for the Winnipeg Jets if the Jets even entertained the idea of him as a coach. Why? The Jets strength is in their skilled players up front and on defence and Sutter insists on playing boring, dump and chase hockey. This would mean that a player like Nikolaj Ehlers would be limited in what he could do with the puck and that he would be fighting his instincts in order to play the system that Sutter deems best.
It is not that Sutter is a bad coach. He is, in fact, a very good coach, but his coaching style is a little out of date. He does not believe in carrying the puck into the zone, which has a direct correlation to scoring chances. While this worked out with the LA Kings, it also made them a vulnerable team that was incapable of scoring a high amount of goals.
As you can see, Sutter is very good at coaching possession hockey, but hockey is not only about having the puck as you have to score goals and this is where the LA Kings were found lacking. The Jets do not have as much of a problem scoring goals as they do preventing them. While Sutter could help with the latter, at what cost would it be to the former? Would Sutter have a strong enough influence on goaltending to actually make up for the fact that scoring could go down?
All this said, the Jets would be very smart to interview Sutter if they have a head coaching vacancy in the near-future. Sutter is a very good coach and he might have been dealing with the hand Dean Lombardi dealt him. Could he actual create an exciting team around Laine, Ehlers, Scheifele, Trouba, and Morrissey? Could he instil a better defensive system that would insulate the Jets goalies better? Could he actually cover the sub-par goaltending the team has been getting? These are all questions that could be asked if the Jets decided to make a coaching change.
While Sutter might be a bad fit for the Jets, his availability should make the Jets question their commitment to Maurice in order to see what a coach who has a history of coaching strong, possession-driving, defensive-minded hockey could do for the Jets. Sutter should not have been fired because his general manager decided to make the Kings a personal experiment for how much scoring you cannot have on a team before the team cannot win no matter how much they tilt the ice every night. Maybe Sutter could work here, even though evidence says otherwise.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Paul Maurice in the coming weeks and to see what Darryl Sutter wants to do with his future. It will also be interesting to see what the Jets plan on doing with their coaching staff as a whole. Maybe the Jets do decide to shake up their coaching staff and interview Sutter; maybe they don’t. It is clear however that the Los Angeles Kings needlessly fired a very good coach.