The Edmonton Oilers continued their spring cleaning yesterday when they showed VP of Player Personnel Duane Sutter - and key piece of the Pro Scouting setup — AND FORMER FRIGGIN’ CALGARY FRIGGIN’ FLAMES STAFFER — (!!!) - the door after an objectively poor nine-year tenure with the club.
Sutter, a former NHL player of two teams and part of the legendary Sutter family, was a good Alberta boy except for when it pertained to his job. Teflon Duane was here for the most of the Steve Tambellini era, having been hired by Mr. Dithers in 2011. He then oversaw the entirety of the Craig McTavish General Management Experience, and sat idly by watching Peter Chiarelli eviscerate the first team from on high, presumably with a glass of Bobby Nick’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2024 - aptly named because like its namesake, Bobby Nick’s wine is ahead of its time.
Here is a brief overview of some of the absolute beauties that Duane Sutter was, at least, tangentially associated with. Or, at best, a willing participant in:
Ryan O’Marra for Bryan Rodney
Tom Gilbert for Nick Schultz
Anything At All for Mike Brown
Tobi Rieder (the younger, more-than-zero-goals version) for Kale Kessy
2013 4th for Jerred Smithson
Shawn Horcoff for Phil Larsen
Ladi Smid for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit
Linus Omark for Imaginary Friends
Devan Dubnyk for Matt Hendricks
Teemu Hartikainen+ for Mark Fraser
Ilya Bryzgalov for Air
Nick Schultz for Air
Ales Hemsky for Dog Shit
Something for Nikita Nikitin
Sam Gagner 1.0 for Teddy Purcell
David Perron for Rob Klinkhammer
Jeff Petry for A Slap in the Face
Griffin Reinhart for A Calder Winning Star and Another Good Player Like Aho Was Available At 33 For God Sakes
Actual Assets for Eric Gryba
Boyd Gordon for Lauri Korpikoski
Justin Schultz for Dirt
Teddy Purcell for Nothing
Taylor Hall for A Lower Ceiling
Nail Yakupov for A Warm Body
Brandon Davidson for David Desharnais
Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome
Jussi Jokinen for Mike Cammalleri
Assets for Al Montoya
Brandon Davidson for 2019 3rd
Pat Maroon for J.D. WHOdek?!
Jakub Jerabek for <REDACTED>
Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner
Actual Stuff for Chris Wideman
Drake Caggiula+ for Brandon Manning+
Chris Wideman+ for Alex Petrovic
Cam Talbot for Anthony Stolarz
Ryan Spooner for Sam Gagner 3.4
Look at it.
Just look at it.
At a minimum, seeing one of the higher-ups go from a department that’s such an obvious organizational pain point demonstrates that Ken Holland understands, at least a little, some of the Oilers’ lingering problems.
And yet, one can’t help but feel like this still isn’t enough. Like it’s step one. Or, with MacTavish’s departure last week, step two. There are many more necks to introduce to the chopping block and less time between now and the draft than there was when you started this article. The time was now yesterday.
The Oilers still require significant restructuring at the executive level and while Duane Sutter is a start, it’s still just that - a start.