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Hockey

Former Kings coach Darryl Sutter hired as advisor to Ducks’ coaching staff

Darryl Sutter
Kings coach Darryl Sutter watches from the behind the bench during a game against the Colorado Avalanche in November 2016. Sutter has been hired as an advisor to Ducks coach Dallas Eakins and his staff.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Darryl Sutter is back on the Southern California hockey scene.

The former Kings coach was hired by the Ducks as an advisor to the coaching staff of Dallas Eakins, general manager Bob Murray announced Tuesday. Murray has known Sutter for decades, having played with him for the Chicago Blackhawks, and Sutter is a supporter of the newly hired Eakins. Sutter, 60, attended the Ducks’ development camp last week, a team official said, and the mutual respect between Murray, Sutter and Eakins spurred the hire.

“Darryl will provide invaluable expertise to our coaching staff and players,” Murray said through a team official. “Both Dallas and I agree his proven track record and vast knowledge of the game will be very beneficial for us.”

Sutter’s role is in an advisory capacity, and he is not expected to have a ubiquitous presence at games. But his face is already well known to area hockey fans for coaching the Kings to Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. He is the franchise leader with 225 regular-season wins, accumulated in six seasons. His son Chris was a regular on the video board at Staples Center, and Sutter cultivated his reputation as the “Jolly Rancher” with his brusque, no-nonsense approach, offset by moments of candid levity.

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Sutter’s Kings run ended with his firing, along with former general manager Dean Lombardi, in 2017, after the Kings missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

That might come with a disclaimer considering that his post-Cup team in 2014-15 missed the postseason even though it recorded 40 wins and 95 points in the regular season. Sutter’s Kings tenure ended, however, with his players alienated by his tough-love style; a report about players locking him out of the dressing room after a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was later confirmed by Lombardi.

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But Sutter was an underrated tactician, known for finding the right line combinations and shrewd matchups. He put together the line of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, and the trio was a defining part of the team’s success earlier in the decade.

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Ducks sign two

The Ducks signed forwards Andrew Poturalski and Blake Pietila to one-year, two-way contracts.

Poturalski was named most valuable player of the Calder Cup playoffs with 12 goals and 23 points in 18 games. He appeared in two games with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pietila played in 19 games for the New Jersey Devils last season. He led the Binghamton Devils in scoring.

curtis.zupke@latimes.com

Twitter: @curtiszupke


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