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May 8, 2016 | 6:30pm ET
Sutter not a lock to return to Kings?
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Los Angeles Kings may be in need of a new head coach if Darryl Sutter decides not to return to the organization with whom he won two Stanley Cup championships with.

Sutter and the Kings have been in contract discussions since January, but the two sides have not yet come to terms on an agreement.

During a mid-week conference call with select members of the Los Angeles media, Kings GM Dean Lombardi indicated that the team has a "very fair" offer on the table for Sutter, but are awaiting his response.

As reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman on Saturday evening, Sutter told him, via text message, that he remains "undecided" on returning to the Kings.

TFP reported earlier this week that the Kings were evaluating their coaching staff, including Sutter's future in Los Angeles, and have refused to give other teams permission to speak with Associate Coach John Stevens, who could possibly replace Sutter if Sutter decides against signing a new contract.

According to Friedman, Sutter wants to see how the Kings will look like after free agency before making a decision, which could put the team in an awkward position if he decides not to return and the team prefers to look outside the organization to replace him.

It had been widely reported last season by various media outlets that there may be a rift between Sutter and some of the Kings' players.

The New York Post first reported the speculation in April 2015 when the paper claimed "the players had become tired of Coach Daryl Sutter" and locked him out of the dressing room during a roadtrip. Those reports were downplayed by the organization, but questions remained.

It's unclear if the Kings want to have an answer from Sutter prior to July as to whether or not he plans on returning next season.

Sutter first joined the Kings as a mid-season replacement on Dec. 20, 2011, and helped lead the team to its first Stanley Cup Championship in 2012 and another one in 2014.

The Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks are currently in the market for a new head coach.

 
 
 

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