Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, schooled deeply in Chicago Blackhawks tradition, summed up his years there in about a 15-second sound bite, managing to cover it quite succinctly.
“Young guy. Old guy. Single guy. Married guy. With children,” Sutter said on Thursday about his life changes in Chicago.
Then he moved from his personal history to the rich Chicago sporting landscape.
“Lots of sports,” he said. “Two baseball teams. Football team. Got great basketball team. Really good hockey teams.
Sutter was drafted by the Blackhawks, played 406 regular-season games in Chicago and would eventually coach there for three seasons.
His final season was the lockout-shortened campaign in 1994-95.
So he coached in both buildings -- the famed Chicago Stadium and the United Center.
“It’s a great environment,” he said. “I coached ... in the last 48-game season. We got beat in the conference finals that year.”
The Kings open the Western Conference finals at Chicago on Saturday afternoon. They went 1-2 against the Blackhawks and the first meeting was the season-opener, featuring the Kings’ Stanley Cup banner raising ceremony, that Chicago ended up winning on Jan. 19.
And that’s when the Kings lost the services of defenseman Matt Greene for almost all of the regular season when he injured his back and needed surgery.
Chicago opened the season by recording at least one point in its first 24 games, an NHL record.
“I think every team this year, based on the Blackhawks’ start to the season, everybody prepared at some point to play the Blackhawks,” Sutter said.
“Because they knew they were going to be a home-ice team.”