(Reuters) - Weeks of speculation about Darryl Sutter’s future with the Los Angeles Kings finally ended on Friday when the National Hockey League team agreed to a multi-year contract extension with their experienced head coach.
Though Sutter had won the coveted Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 and 2014, the team failed to reach the playoffs last season and they were ousted in the first round last month by the San Jose Sharks.
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi did not give financial details of Sutter’s new contract, which will begin in the 2016-17 season, but local media estimate it to be worth more than $6 million for two years.
Sutter, the fastest Kings head coach to 100 wins in franchise history (183 games), has posted a 186-112-45 record since joining the LA team for the 2011-12 season.
The 57-year-old coached his 1,200th NHL game on April 4 at Vancouver, becoming the 15th head coach in league history to reach that plateau.
In recent weeks, there had been mounting speculation that Sutter might consider other coaching options or perhaps return to his 3,000-acre farm in Alberta to raise cattle full time but he scotched those rumors in a newspaper interview on Thursday.
”I have no desire to go anywhere else or do any of that,“ Sutter told the Los Angeles Times. ”We’ll get it (a contract extension) worked out. That’s my plan.
“As coaches, you’re trying to get through where you could be next year with your roster. That was more important to me the last two or three weeks than any of my stuff.”
Sutter’s teams have qualified for the postseason in 14 of his 16 years as a head coach, and his 595 career coaching wins rank 14th all-time.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both