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Sutter wants to practise patience with new Flames signee Matt Coronato

“It’s us getting to know him but him getting comfortable, too.”



Don't expect Matt Coronato to be jumping into the Calgary Flames lineup this season. Take it from the head coach.

Darryl Sutter talked to media today about the importance of getting the 20-year-old forward, who ended his U.S. college career Sunday and signed with the team, 'acclimatized' to the Flames organization. There was no mention of him suiting up.

Sutter said he's seen the alum of the Harvard Crimson play just once: for the U.S. team at the aborted 2022 World Juniors in Red Deer. He said he's visited more with Coronato's father than the player himself.

Bringing him to Calgary simply "gives him a jumpstart on his (coming) season."

"It's us getting to know him but him getting comfortable, too," Sutter said. "That's the advantage of having two teams in Calgary. A big advantage."

What Sutter said he saw in December 2021 at Red Deer was a competitive, skilled player who's similar to Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane.

"He's got really good instincts for the offence, that part of the game," Sutter said. "(Harvard) played him a lot at centre this year, but I think when he was drafted, he was looked at more as a right winger."

When asked if he thought a player coming to the pros out of college faces a bigger adjustment to the game than if he had come out of major junior hockey, Sutter said he thinks it depends on age.

On whether it's a bigger adjustment coming out of college than out of junior.

"Just do it yourself: Compare yourself at age 23 to age 20, I'll bet there was a big difference," he said. "Look at a guy like Walker Duehr. He went to school, and comes out. You put him in that young guys' group, he's 26, so there's a big difference between a 21- or 22-year-old and a 26-year-old."

For now, Sutter suggested Coronato will be encouraged to watch, learn and absorb all he can around the team.

"Pick somebody out you can emulate … (if I was Coronato) I'd be watching Tyler Toffoli for sure," Sutter said. "It's really similar to what we used to do in L.A. We used to bring Tyler (Toffoli) and Tanner (Pearson) up, not play them.

"Just let them watch. Watch Dustin Brown, watch Justin Williams, those types of players. Learn from them and see how they prepare, see how they train, see how they practise and then take the next step."

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