Sutter takes over bigger role for Rebels

Back in town after a three-year stint as head coach of the Calgary Flames, workaholic Brent Sutter officially made it known Monday that he will be a hands-on figure with the Red Deer Rebels during the 2012-13 Western Hockey League season.

Back in town after a three-year stint as head coach of the Calgary Flames, workaholic Brent Sutter officially made it known Monday that he will be a hands-on figure with the Red Deer Rebels during the 2012-13 Western Hockey League season.

The Rebels owner/governor is moving into the general manager’s chair, leaving previous GM/head coach Jesse Wallin to zero in on his bench boss duties.

“This is not just a reactionary decision, it’s something I have thought about and Jesse and I have talked about for awhile,” Sutter said during a press conference at the Rebels office.

“We always want to do what’s right for the organization and the right thing at this point is to let Jesse focus on the role of head coach of the team. “That’s what’s most important to start with, allowing Jesse and the players to develop. Jesse doesn’t need to worry about the management side of it now. He can concentrate on coaching.”

Sutter said he considered bringing in an outside source to serve as general manager.

“But with myself knowing the coaching staff extremely well and knowing the players, the scouting staff and everyone involved in the hockey operation, I felt it was best that I be the one who becomes the general manager,” he said. “It’s not something that’s new to me. This way Jesse can do what he does best, and that’s being a real good coach.”

Sutter reiterated that the personnel move was well thought out and in the end will benefit the team.

“To me, it’s about the players . . . giving the players the best chance to succeed and be successful, and I think this is definitely the right decision. It’s been a long process for myself, over three months going through it.

“To be quite honest, I informed Jesse on Friday that this was the direction I was leaning towards going and that I needed the weekend to think about it. Yesterday it became very clear to me that this was what we needed to do moving forward. Effective today, this is where our hockey operations stand.”

Sutter added that in the near future he expects to hire a ‘special assignment’ person to work alongside himself as well as assist the coaching staff.

Meanwhile, Wallin sounded almost relieved that he will now be strictly in charge of guiding the Rebels from the bench.

“You want to do a good job of everything, but being a GM is a lot of extra work and a big responsibility,” he said. “Coaching is my passion, coaching is what I came on board to do and I feel that’s my greatest strength and what I enjoy the most. This allows me to focus on that.

“Ultimately, as Brent said, it’s what’s best for the organization. We’ve had a number of talks about this over a long period of time, as far back as when I took this position.

“I just feel that with the situation at this point in time, with Brent being back . . . that it made sense that at the end of the day this was the best thing for the organization and for the players, the best thing for everyone involved, myself included. I’m excited about being able to focus solely on the coaching side of it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

Stock photo
Report: Canada loves hockey, but sport has its issues

While hockey is strongly intertwined in Canada’s lexicon as a country, some… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo.)
Single-vehicle collision causes Hwy 2A closure Thursday

A single-vehicle crash on Highway 2A near Penhold led to a brief… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Home renovation savings prove elusive as wood prices at record highs

Home renovation savings prove elusive as wood prices at record highs

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary on May 3, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian Natural reports $1.38B Q1 profit, plans to use cash flow to reduce debt

Canadian Natural reports $1.38B Q1 profit, plans to use cash flow to reduce debt

Logs are piled up at West Fraser Timber in Quesnel, B.C., Tuesday, April 21, 2009. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. is reporting higher first-quarter sales and earnings after completing its $4-billion all-stock takeover of Norbord Inc. on Feb. 1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
West Fraser reports US$665M in earnings, $2.3 billion in sales as it acquires Norbord

West Fraser reports US$665M in earnings, $2.3 billion in sales as it acquires Norbord

An oil worker holds raw sand bitumen near Fort McMurray, Alta., on July 9, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta eases security payment burden for oilsands companies

Alberta eases security payment burden for oilsands companies

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite falls despite commodities, loonie hits highest level since 2017

S&P/TSX composite falls despite commodities, loonie hits highest level since 2017

Nicholas Marcus Thompson is shown in Toronto on Thursday April 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Action needed to end anti-Black racism in public service: advocates

OTTAWA — The federal government must address anti-Black racism in the public… Continue reading

Victoria Police help BC conservation officers carry a cougar which was tranquilized in the backyard of an apartment building in the community of James Bay in Victoria, B.C., Monday, October 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Cougar believed to be responsible for B.C. attack killed: conservation service

AGASSIZ, B.C. — The British Columbia Conservation Officer Service says it believes… Continue reading

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

EDMONTON — Officials with an Edmonton hospital say they’re investigating what happened… Continue reading

Most Read