An undecided Brent Sutter: I need to make a decision soon about coaching the New Jersey Devils
Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger Monday June 01, 2009, 4:04 PM
Brent Sutter said on Monday he hasn't yet made up his mind about returning to coach the Devils for a third season but indicated he is getting closer to finalizing his plans.
It's June and Brent Sutter still hasn't decided whether he will be back next season to coach the Devils.
But Sutter, who was building a fence back in Red Deer, Alberta, when I spoke to him on Monday, said he understands he must make a decision soon rather than sit on that fence.
"I know I need to make a decision at some point in time and I know I have to make it soon," Sutter said via telephone.
He said he is somewhat surprised that people are anxious to hear his decision.
"My obligation is to the Devils to make my decision when it's the right time," Sutter said. "I'm sure people are anxious to know. But I can't worry about any of that. I have to take more time and make the right decision."
Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner said he has not spoken to Sutter since the team was ousted from the playoffs. But Langenbrunner said the delay in coming to a decision makes him wonder if Sutter will be back.
"I guess the longer it goes, the more doubt is in my mind," Langenbrunner told me. "Who knows? I'm sure he'll make the right decision for him. I want him to do what is best for him. Obviously for me, he's put me into a position of leadership on this team. He's given me the opportunity to succeed. I've enjoyed playing for him. I don't want to see him leave. But that's for him."
General manager Lou Lamoriello said there is no rush for Sutter to make his decision. There is one season remaining on his contract.
"Lou and Mr. Vanderbeek have been outstanding through it all," Sutter said. "They totally understand. They know the situation and they know what was talked about going into it. That is all part of discussions and all part of negotiations even when I first started."
Lamoriello told me on Monday that the holdup with Sutter is not related to any negotiating over a contract extension beyond the one remaining year. He said Sutter is simply trying to decide whether he wants to stay in Red Deer or come back to the Devils for the final season on his contract.
"There is nothing here other than his situation with his family," Lamoriello stressed. "There are no contract negotiations. None of that. That I can assure you 100 percent."
Sutter said he has discussed the matter with his family, including his wife, son and daughter. Still, no decision has been made.
"I've just been working on the ranch and in the office here. There is nothing imminent yet," he said.
So what's next for the Devils? Lots of questions, starting with the man who may or may not be back behind the bench next year.
Last edited by davetherave on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:09 pm; edited 2 times in total