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Sutter: "This Was the Right Time"

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Lamoriello said Friday that Brent Sutter was his first and only choice for the Devils' head coaching post. -
Brent Sutter arrived in New Jersey at 2 a.m. Friday morning amid speculation that he was about to join the coaching ranks of the NHL.

Less than 12 hours later, he was seated next to Devils' CEO/President/GM Lou Lamoriello to make it official.

Sutter was named the new head coach of the New Jersey Devils on Friday afternoon, as the team prepares for its inaugural season at Newark's Prudential Center.

Asked whether the Viking, Alberta native was the top choice for the Devils' bench boss job, Lamoriello said Sutter was his only choice.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Brent Sutter’s character, knowledge, energy, enthusiasm, and experience join our organization,” Lamoriello said. “He has been successful at every level and we look forward to him continuing that success in the National Hockey League.”

It is the first NHL head coaching job for Sutter, who, a day earlier, closed out eight successful years in junior hockey by stepping down as the governor, g.m., and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels (WHL).

"At this point in time, this was the right time," Sutter said. "It's just not the timing there, it's the timing here, too. With the conversation Lou and I had, this is the right fit for Brent Sutter and I'm hoping the right fit for the New Jersey Devils, too."

Sutter, 45, brings to the Devils' bench a wealth of championship experience at the junior level, including three consecutive WHL Eastern Conference Championships from 2001-03, and the WHL's top coach honors in 2001. He described his coaching style as structured and disciplined, adding that he asks his players to make a commitment to the team on the front of their jerseys.

The fourth of six brothers to have played in the NHL and become head coaches in the league, Sutter coached Team Canada's junior squad to gold medals at the World Championships in 2005 and 2006. As a player, Sutter was a part of three Canada Cup Championships in 1984, 1987 and 1991, and took home the bronze medal as a member of Canada's 1986 World Championship team.

Sutter played 18 NHL seasons split between the Islanders and Blackhawks, collecting 363 goals and 466 assists for 829 points in 1,111 career regular-season games. Along with his brother Duane, he was a member of New York’s 1982 and 1983 Stanley Cup Championship teams, and served as captain from 1987 through 1991.

with wire services
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