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Sutter settles into life in Southern California

by Dan Rosen

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter couldn't quite figure out what that noise was. At first he thought it was a train, but that's only because on his Alberta farm he can hear trains coming for miles.

It sort of sounded like that, but it couldn't be, not here, not in the tighter confines of his new living space in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

"For a while I thought it was something mechanical in the house," Sutter told

The mysterious noise kept him up for his first few nights until finally the light went off in his head and he figured out what it was.

"It was the ocean," Sutter said laughing. "It was the waves, the whoosh."


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To Sutter, who has guided the Kings to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1993, that's really the only difference in where he is now compared to where he came from.

The hockey is the hockey. He immersed himself in that part of his daily life from Day 1, from the moment on Dec. 20, 2011, that he agreed to accept the offer from Kings general manager Dean Lombardi to become the new coach of the struggling team in Los Angeles.

Sutter said he did only because it was Lombardi who called. They worked together for six seasons in San Jose and developed a bond.

"I talked to my family last summer, my wife and my kids, about if we ever did go back that we would be very selective," said Sutter, who resigned as the Flames general manager 357 days prior to taking the coaching job with the Kings. "We weren't going back just to go back. That was really important. And, so obviously this was one of those places because of Dean."

His family stayed back on the farm as his son awaits his high school graduation. He really has nothing else to do but focus on hockey.

"I came in the middle of the year and it's crazy," Sutter said. "If there is one thing about going somewhere to work when you're family is not with you, you spend all your time at work."

The rest of it is normal, small-town living, even if it is amid palm trees, right near the ocean, and considered to be in one of the biggest metropolis' in the world.

Sutter said that is a major misconception.

He lives in Manhattan Beach. He can walk or ride his bicycle to the Kings' practice facility. When he walks out of his house and goes onto Highland Avenue or Manhattan Beach Boulevard, he sometimes sees the same people he saw yesterday.

Los Angeles may seem like a big place, but not when you really break it down, Sutter said.

"Out here in Manhattan Beach, it's like a small town," Sutter said. "You know most of the people. You've got a main street. Apart from the ocean, it's really no different. We go to into Los Angeles to play, that's it."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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