Kings Coach Darryl Sutter ‘not into’ team-bonding exercises

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter will coach his first NHL All-Star Game.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

You can be sure the Kings won’t be climbing ropes, walking over hot coals or going on any paintball excursions.

In other words, none of this official team-bonding stuff. As they were preparing to leave on a three-game trip to San Jose, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Las Vegas, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter went on a riff about the often-popular exercise.

“I’m not into that,” he said Monday. “You hear about climbing ropes, going to a fort somewhere. You do most of your bonding in May and June.”



Sutter then got off a better line. Clearly, the coach is in mid-season form.

“If you’ve got to go somewhere to learn about your personality, you probably have a disorder,” he said.

He coached in Chicago, San Jose and Calgary before joining the Kings in the 2011-12 season. The Blackhawks were his first team, and Sutter told a good story about once taking the players to Whistler, the popular ski mecca in Canada.

“One of the rules we gave them was that they weren’t allowed to ski,” Sutter said. “When you go to Whistler, what are you going to do when you’re not skiing? Go throw darts and drink beer?

“Well, we were up way high on the mountain with the coaches, and we were looking through one of those telescopes. We could see all these guys in trench coats, going down the black [diamond runs]. We looked a little closer, and it was all our players. They didn’t even cover it up…. So they knew the rule was not going to be enforced.”

Years later, Sutter clearly got a kick out of the adventure and rule-breaking. He was asked whether he ever let on that he knew about the players skiing.

“Oh yeah, I thought they were excellent,” he said.


In other non-Sutter news, the Kings made more roster cuts, sending three players back to their minor-league affiliate in Manchester, N.H.: centers Nic Dowd and Nick Shore and defenseman Vincent LoVerde. There are 29 players on the roster in camp.