In the fourth and final installment of Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s postseason session with reporters, he talks about the media’s need for news versus the team’s need for secrecy when it comes to injuries to players, especially during the playoffs. And there’s quite a bit more as Sutter wrapped up his second season as the Kings’ coach.
Question: Fans want to know who’s playing. That’s a normal curiosity.
Answer: “Yeah, it is. If they get there on time, they know who’s playing. That’s what we did as a league, right? You have seven days. If somebody goes on IR, they’re hurt. They’re out seven days. Right? I don’t understand … It’s not supposed to happen.”
Q: It’s because of this constant news cycle and the Internet, there’s always something to put out there.
A: “I know, but from a team standpoint, you’re very protective of it because there’s competitive balance.”
Q: Understood, but can you tell us now some of the other guys who were injured.
A: “Not until we get through the next part of it. Quite honest, I’m trying to be as truthful and helpful as I can. You go through your general medical at the end of the season and then you go through the specific part of it. General medical meaning when you and I go to the doctor. That’s general medical and then you’re referred to a specific doctor. That’s when you play a lot of playoff games and you don’t have a lot of time to re-set that. Then you have to be able to, as a staff and a team, to get going again. That’s one thing about this year because we know the start of training camp. We know the date.”
Q: But it’s another screwy year for you because of the Olympic break …
A: “Really, when you look at our schedule, based on when the Olympics are and when our building is usually blocked out because of the Grammy Awards, you know that block. The NHL schedule is basically a week earlier. So, you know that block when we’re usually on the road. It’s a week earlier and a week later. If you also do it that way, Jan. 1, is always 40 or 42 games. Olympic break, you watch, it’ll be 60 or 62 games.”
Q: This will be your third season (with Sutter’s hiring at midseason in 2011-12 and the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season followed by the Olympic break next season) and you won’t have coached a normal season. A, quote, unquote, normal season.
A: “It’s normal. It’s fun and games. You’ll see our new divisions: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, the three California teams and Phoenix. … That will be the fun part. That’s the part about meeting with the players that’s the important part because you’re giving them more input. In terms of travel, giving the players input. … Once we get it. It’s formalized right after the draft. I don’t know how that impacts this year. It’s always right in there. I’m looking forward to that right away. … Detroit and Columbus moving East effects our travel. … I still want to go to Detroit. I still want to play the Original Six teams.”