Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 14
The Stanley Cup Journal


On behalf of his brothers, Brian Sutter met the Stanley Cup in Red Deer for the Sutter Fund Charity Golf Classic. With Lord Stanley's trophy in town, it was a day of play, not hay, for Brian and his brothers. (London Life-Portnoy/HHOF)
July was quite a month for the Sutter boys. On Thursday, July 7, fire damaged the Carena, the Viking, Alberta arena where the Sutter brothers played their minor hockey. Named 'Carena' because a car was raffled off to raise money to build the rink some fifty years ago, the arena featured a tribute to the Sutters in the form of a mural painted on the south end of the building. Inside, visitors saw artifacts from Viking's hockey history, including the NHL sweaters of each of the six Sutter boys who skated in hockey's most prestigious league.

The fire broke out in the north end, allowing rescuers the chance to retrieve the photos and artifacts located in the south end. Mayor Garry Wolosinka, who was one of the first on the site of the fire, stated, "Buildings can be replaced, but memorabilia can't be replaced." He vowed the rink would be rebuilt but was uncertain whether it could be erected in time to salvage any of this upcoming hockey season.

As is the case with most communities like Viking, the arena serves as the hub of the town's social activities. "It's quite a loss," admitted Viking's town administrator Rod Krips.
"[The arena] is the focal point of any community."

* * *

Brian poses with a friend and the Stanley Cup at the Eagle Creek Golf Course in Red Deer, Alberta. The day raised more than $100,000 for the Sutter Fund, contributing to sports opportunities for youngsters in central Alberta. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
Just one week after the blaze, the Sutter boys were hosting their annual golf tournament in Red Deer, Alberta. Southwest of Viking about 140 miles, Red Deer has hosted this event since 1996 when the Sutter Fund was set up. The fund raises money for athletic endeavours in the same central Alberta region that nurtured the Sutter boys.

The Stanley Cup arrived in Red Deer at 4 pm on Wednesday, July 13. Brian Sutter, most recently coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, greeted the Cup and escorted the trophy to a huge banquet room in the Black Knight Inn.

Brian, at 48, the eldest of the Sutters to play in the NHL, made his debut in 1976-77 with the St. Louis Blues and played 12 seasons in Missouri. Darryl, 46, played eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks starting in 1979-80 and is currently coach of the Calgary Flames. Duane, born in 1960, joined the New York Islanders in 1979-80, just in time to win the first of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships. After retiring with Chicago after the 1989-90 season, Duane went into management and is now the director of player development for the Florida Panthers. Brent, now 42, is the general manager/coach of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. As a player, he debuted with the Islanders in 1980-81 and shared Stanley Cup championships with Duane in 1982 and 1983. Brent's 17-season NHL career concluded with Chicago in 1997-98. The youngest, Rich and Ron, were born in 1963. Rich, who was unable to participate in the golf tournament because of a prior engagement, started his career with Pittsburgh in 1982-83 and followed it for 13 seasons to Philadelphia, Vancouver, St. Louis, Chicago, Tampa and Toronto. Ron, the twin in attendance, played with Philadelphia in 1982-83 and spent a productive 19-season NHL career paying in St. Louis, Quebec, with the Islanders, Bruins, Sharks and Flames. Rich scouts for the Minnesota Wild; Ron with the Flames.

* * *

The entire Sutter clan congregated around the Cup as they celebrated together in Red Deer. (Walt Neubrand/HHOF)
At one end of the banquet room, a silent auction was going on. One of the prized items garnering substantial bids was 150 pounds of prime beef from Brian's farm. Not far away, a live auction ensued, with guest auctioneer, 'Bearcat' Murray, retired as trainer of the Calgary Flames and currently the franchise's ambassador of community relations.

Guests lined up to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. Over the course of six hours, more than 1,000 got their photo taken beside Lord Stanley's cherished mug. While waiting in line, a pregnant woman nearing her delivery date had her water break. "Excuse me," she stammered as her husband punched numbers into his cellphone. "Do you mind if we move to the front of the line so we can get our picture taken before we go to the hospital?" The line parted just like the Red Sea did for Moses, and the young lady, clearly in great discomfort, waddled up beside the Cup. "Thank you. Thank you all very much," she grimaced through clenched teeth. A quick photo and faster than Brent on a breakaway, the couple made the dash to the delivery room.

The brothers mingled readily through the room, greeting old friends and making new acquaintances. "Hey Brian," shouted one man clad in a cowboy Stetson."Ya happy tha NHL is goin' back?" Brian glared for a moment, then grinned. "Sure I am, but I'm more happy that they've opened the U.S. border to our cattle!"

* * *

Thursday morning, July 14, the Sutter Fund Charity Golf Classic took place. Brian rolled in ready for the big day. "Did ya get y'r hay baled, Brian," asked one golfer. "No," blurted Brian in frustration. "An hour and a half sleep doesn't allow much time for balin' hay."

Six brothers in the NHL; six Stanley Cup championships. The 1982 New York Islanders' victory was the first of two in which Duane and Brent Sutter were able to celebrate a Stanley Cup championship together. (Dave Sandford/HHOF)
The Stanley Cup was placed on the first tee, and as each foursome arrived, they received a putter shaped like a hockey stick. They then got their photo taken with hockey's most treasured prize. Even a normally timid prairie dog sniffed around nearby, almost as if it wanted to see what all the commotion was about.

It was a great day for the Sutter boys, who enjoyed the annual camaraderie and were pleased to play host to the Stanley Cup. The Viking boys added another $100,000 to the Sutter Fund through this year's golf tournament, bringing the total amount raised to well over $600,000. And on a different note, there's a newborn baby out there who someday will boast to friends that the Sutter brothers came close to playing the role of midwife in her delivery.

* * *

Tuesday, Stanley Cup Journal invites you to spend the day with 95-year old Lorne Carr, followed by a day of celebration with Hall of Fame goalkeeper Glenn Hall. You'll want to catch up with both great stories!

Kevin Shea is the Hockey Hall of Fame's Manager of Publishing and Editorial Services.
Spirit Of Hockey, shop online now!
Find out about renting the facilities at the Hockey Hall of Fame
Donate your hockey artifacts to the Hockey Hall of Fame
The Weston Harbour Castle Toronto