RUMOURS of Darryl Sutter's imminent hiring by the Los Angeles Kings had the Calgary Flames' practice rink buzzing Tuesday.

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Former Flames general manager Darryl Sutter may be a better coach than GM.

COLLEEN DE NEVE / POSTMEDIA NEWS ARCHIVES

Former Flames general manager Darryl Sutter may be a better coach than GM.

RUMOURS of Darryl Sutter's imminent hiring by the Los Angeles Kings had the Calgary Flames' practice rink buzzing Tuesday.

Sutter, the Flames' former GM, is widely rumoured to be named successor to Terry Murray, who was fired Monday after three-plus seasons.

It makes sense. After all, Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Sutter go back to their days in San Jose.

Besides, critics of Sutter say he's a better coach than GM. His record as an NHL bench boss is 409-320-131.

"To me, (coaching) is where Darryl's niche is," said Flames coach Brent Sutter, Darryl's younger brother. "I believe it's something Darryl's always wanted to continue to do."

 

Junior team cuts Ferland

Michael Ferland of Brandon, a 19-year-old left-winger with the Western Hockey League's Wheat Kings, was released by Canada's national junior hockey team on Tuesday at the selection camp being held in Calgary.

Ferland was among seven players heading back to their junior clubs as Team Canada's roster was reduced to 35 players.

Still competing for Team Canada positions from Manitoba are Oakbank's Quinton Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Winnipeg's Mark Stone of the Brandon Wheat Kings along with Winnipeg Jets prospect Mark Scheifele of the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts.

 

Rats are back in Florida

It was quite the phenomenon in Florida -- the upstart Panthers were on their way to the Stanley Cup final, and they'd found a rather nasty looking mascot to trumpet their cause.

In 1995-96, the Panthers surprised everyone, making it to the final before losing to Colorado.

During the season, winger Scott Mellanby accidentally killed a rat in the dressing room with his stick. That night he scored twice with the same stick... and the legend was born.

Florida fans started tossing plastic rats onto the ice when the Panthers scored.

The rats are back.

This week the Panthers started selling plastic rats at their team store. The timing is perfect given Florida's success.

If you're interested, a rat will cost you US$5.

 

Barnaby can stay in U.S.

Former NHL player Matthew Barnaby has avoided jail time and potential deportation to Canada by pleading guilty to four violations related to the New York drunken-driving arrest that got him fired from ESPN.

The former analyst pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, refusing a breath test, driving with unsafe tires and failing to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of his address change. He appeared Tuesday in town court in Clarence, the Buffalo suburb where he lives.

-- from the news services