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Hometown product Jeff de Wit was familiar with the Red Deer Rebels training camp well before he participated as a player. The 15-year-old centre, the Rebels’ first pick in the 2013 Western Hockey League bantam draft, asked general manager/head coach Brent Sutter for a training camp job when he was just 10 years of age.
Onwards and upwards. Upwards, not only in terms of moving up in the Western Hockey League standings, but also in height and weight. Red Deer Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter fully expects his 2013-14 club to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference and advance further than the second round of the playoffs.
The opportunity to add a player with enticing physical qualities in return for a bantam draft pick three years down the road was too good to pass up. And so it was that Red Deer Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter acquired six-foot-four defenceman Spencer Morse from the Moose Jaw Warriors Tuesday. The price was a conditional selection in the 2016 bantam draft.
The Red Deer Rebels open their training camp Aug. 24 at the Centrium. The opening two days is for rookies only. The camp runs from 7:30-9 p.m. on the opening day while on Aug. 25 the rookies skate from 9-10:30 a.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. The goalies have a special session from 1-2 p.m.
Monday was a day of excitement and joy for Red Deer Rebels defenceman Haydn Fleury. For Rebels forward Conner Bleackley. . . not so much. Fleury was named to the 22-player Canadian national under-18 hockey team following a four-day camp in Toronto, while Bleackley fell short in his bid for selection.
Patrik Bartosak is on board with the Los Angeles Kings’ decision to send him back to the Red Deer Rebels for one final year of major junior seasoning. “I talked to him at noon today and he’s good with it,” Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday. “He understands the decision. He knew all along that this was an option.”
Red Deer Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter won’t have to pay a King’s ransom for a starting goaltender for the 2013-14 Western Hockey League season. The Rebels, thanks to the Los Angeles Kings, will have all-star netminder Patrik Bartosak back in uniform for one final winter.
The $64,000 question had yet to be asked one day after Red Deer Rebels all-star netminder Patrik Bartosak was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in Sunday’s NHL entry draft at Newark, N.J. Brent Sutter’s enquiring mind wanted to know if there was any chance the Kings would hold off on signing Bartosak for 12 months and instead send him back to the Rebels as a 20-year-old stopper.
Right in tune with his insistence on icing a team that’s hard to play against, Brent Sutter swung a deal with the Saskatoon Blades Thursday, a transaction that could bring a familiar name to Red Deer.
In the event that he has stopped his last puck as a member of the Red Deer Rebels, Patrik Bartosak will be remembered as the finest of a dying breed. Bartosak, the premier goaltender in all of Canadian major junior hockey last season, will almost certainly be selected in the NHL entry draft June 30. It’s unlikely that he’ll return to Red Deer as an overage player and will quite possibly be the last European stopper to wear Rebels colours.
International hockey is returning to Red Deer. The Red Deer Rebels will host a Subway Super Series game Nov. 27 at the Centrium. The contest — the fifth of the 2013 six-game series — will pit Team Russia against a squad of Western Hockey League all-stars selected by Hockey Canada and a WHL committee.
The skill was evident, and yet it was the versatility of the 34-player group that most impressed GM/head coach Brent Sutter during the Red Deer Rebels spring prospects camp. “It was a really good camp, really encouraging in the sense of the type of players we have on our list,” said Sutter, following Sunday’s final session of the three-day camp at the Penhold Regional Multiplex. “We have a bit of everything, which is good.”
Like an RCMP constable, Brent Sutter always get his man. The Red Deer Rebels GM/owner/president/head coach was in search of an assistant coach last month and zoned in on Steve O’Rourke, who was coming off his first season as a coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy and has also coached at the junior A level and in the American Hockey League.
Red Deer Rebels netminder Patrik Bartosak entered the 2012-13 Western Hockey League season with high hopes. What he managed to accomplish went far behind his wildest dreams.
Timing is everything, and now was not the time for Brent Sutter to leave his dual post as GM/head coach of the Red Deer Rebels. Sutter announced Thursday that he’s removed the interim tag from his two-pronged position and will stay on as the GM/bench boss of his WHL club for the 2013-14 season.
Looking ahead just a few months, Brent Sutter didn’t see a role for Joel Hamilton. As a result, the Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach dealt the five-foot-nine, 160-pound forward to the Vancouver Giants Wednesday in return for a third-round pick in the 2014 WHL bantam draft.
The Red Deer Rebels didn’t have to look far to discover everything they needed to know prior to making their first pick in the WHL bantam draft Thursday. The Rebels nabbed the player they wanted all along with the 14th overall selection in the draft. Welcome to the club, Jeff de Wit.
CALGARY — His numbers were simply too good for him to be considered second best. Red Deer Rebels Czech star Patrik Bartosak was honoured Wednesday as the Western Hockey League goaltender of the year, a fitting follow-up to a masterful season in which he led the team to a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Size does matter to the Red Deer Rebels, but so does tenacity and aggression. While Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter will be looking to add some bulk to his team during Thursday’s Western Hockey League bantam draft in Calgary, the players selected by Randy Peterson, the club’s director of scouting and player development, and senior scout Shaun Sutter will also fit a certain identity. That’s the plan, at least.
The Red Deer Rebels are in the market for an assistant coach. After five years as a Rebels assistant, Bryce Thoma resigned Tuesday after lengthy discussions with owner/general manager and head coach Brent Sutter.