Darryl Sutter matches brothers with multiple Stanley Cups
Related mediaStanley Cup Final Game 4: Rangers vs. Kings Rangers Stanley Cup videos Steve Zipay's Blue Notes Your 2014 Eastern Conference champion Rangers Celebs at the Stanley Cup Final Watch Henrik Lundqvist's playoff beard grow
LOS ANGELES - They are the Mannings of hockey, only more so -- six brothers from Viking, Alberta, who played in the NHL, mostly in the 1980s and '90s, followed by two of their sons (so far).
Along the way, the Sutters collected six Stanley Cups as players, all with the Islanders. Duane has four and Brent two.
But even though four of them went on to become NHL general managers and/or coaches, only one has won a Cup in that capacity, and he got No. 2 with a victory Friday night in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
That would be Darryl, 55, who was the lowest draft selection among the brothers (Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich and Ron). He wasn't taken until the 11th round by the Blackhawks in 1978 but fashioned a productive eight-year career, including a 40-goal season, that was cut short by injuries.
Those injuries proved a blessing in disguise in launching his coaching career, Sutter said. Unlike some of his brothers, who had long, productive on-ice careers, he had no choice but to look elsewhere at an early age.
When someone asked him why he has outlasted his brothers as a coach, he said: "I don't think 'outlast' is a really good way of saying it. They all played longer than I did. I was forced into coaching at 29 years old. That's what I did in order to stay in the game, because I couldn't play anymore.
"Obviously with that, I was the only one of my brothers that went up through the system, meaning coaching in the minors, coaching an organization, advancing through the coaching with the organization, meaning being an assistant coach, being a head coach. That is still the way to be a coach for a long time and be a top coach."
Sutter has coached 1,039 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, Sharks, Flames and Kings, coming tantalizingly close to his first Cup in 2004 when the Flames lost the Final in seven games to a Lightning team that included current Rangers Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis.
He finally won it all in 2012, having come to the Kings in December of that season. Did winning one as a coach give him bragging rights over his brothers, including Duane and Brent?
"No," he said. "I think our family's close enough . . . When they won it, we very seldom talked about it, other than being very proud of my brothers. That in itself is very special. They won six. I'm pretty proud of them."
So close is the family, and so much does Darryl respect his brothers' opinions, that even in the middle of the Kings' playoff run, he was in regular contact with them for hockey advice in addition to news from home.
"I talk to all of them a lot, either via phone or text, more to see what's going on," he said. "They are at home. It's them checking to see how we're doing. I mean, they're pretty smart hockey guys. They can see how you're playing and how certain guys are playing. They can offer you that."
The Sutter family had won seven Stanley Cups playing or coaching entering Friday night's Game 5 for Darryl's Kings against the Rangers.
Duane (Islanders): 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Brent (Islanders): 1982, 1983
Darryl (Kings, coach): 2012