It’s fitting that hockey parents Louis and Grace Sutter will be inducted into Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame along with their seven sons.
“They’re all part of it,” said Brent Sutter, Red Deer Rebels owner and head coach. “Mom and Dad had to put up with a lot of crap with seven boys.
“Mom and Dad were certainly a huge part of the success that we all had. They always gave us every opportunity to be involved in sports.”
The family from Viking, Alta. is legendary. It became its own little farm system for the NHL, where six of the boys played almost 5,000 regular season games. There was a Sutter brother playing hockey in four decades, and a number of their children have now picked up with their fathers left off.
After their playing careers Brent, Darryl and Brian also went on to coach, with Darryl also serving as general manager of the Calgary Flames. The other NHL brothers are Duane, Rich and Ron.
Also inducted was brother Gary, who played major junior hockey but left hockey to work on the family farm with his father, who passed away in 2005.
Gary was always very supportive of his younger brothers, said Brent. “He was our biggest fan.
“If he had continued to play he was probably a better player than the rest of us.”
Brent said the family had no idea before Brian got the call a couple of weeks ago that they were to be inducted.
“I guess, for ourselves, we’re all pretty humble guys,” he said.
“Certainly, we’re honoured by it.”
The Sutters all have busy schedules but family members plan to make the trip to Canmore for the official induction ceremony at a gala on July 23.
“Some of us will be there for sure, and if everyone can be there everyone will be.”
All of the Sutters still live in Alberta.