Brett Sutter has worn the ‘C’ before as a pro but now, he gets to do it in his home province.
Sutter captained the Ontario Reign for the past five seasons and also wore the ‘C’ with the Charlotte Checkers for three years from 2011-2014.
This time though, here in Calgary, will be extra special.
“I’m proud, honoured and I’m lucky I’ve got a great group in there,” said Sutter, named the relocated and redubbed Calgary Wranglers first captain on Friday. “I can lean on a lot of guys and hopefully I’ll learn a lot from them just like they’re going to learn from me.”
Head Coach Mitch Love has been impressed with Sutter’s leadership skills since he signed as a free agent this summer.
“He’s going to be real big for our group, the messaging from us as a coaching staff down to our players and then just him having a pulse of the team,” said Love. “I hear nothing but good things in his career, what he’s done in Ontario with his time there with the younger players and obviously they’ve gone through a little bit of a rebuild, I think he’s a big part of that and we need him to do the same thing with our group.”
This campaign will mark Sutter’s 16th pro season and ninth as a captain in the AHL. The Viking product is excited for the role he will play here.
“You start with being a good teammate and being a good person,” he explained. “You support each other on the ice, in the rink, away from the rink, you start there. The closer team you have, the better you are going to be on the ice. So, start there and then just make sure you work hard and push each other and hold each other accountable.”
Matthew Phillips and Nick DeSimone were named assistant captains alongside Sutter and he spoke about the kind of people, players and leaders he feels they are.
“Two unbelievable people, going back to being a good teammate, they’re two of the best you can ask for,” he explained. “Guys that have been around, they know the system, they know a lot of the guys in that room so I’m definitely going to lean on them pretty heavily.”
Phillips is entering his fifth full pro season, all of them with the Flames organization, while this is DeSimone’s sixth full pro year and second as a member of the Flames AHL team.
The Wranglers welcome the Coachella Valley Firebirds for their inaugural home-opener Sunday. BUY TICKETS