Brett Sutter made history in more ways than one with the Calgary Wranglers last season
Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
3 months ago
When the Stockton Heat lost their captain last summer, they needed a new captain to fill his shoes and go down in history as the first captain of the Calgary Wranglers. That player ended up being the perfect combination of a Flames-connected veteran with years of professional experience between the AHL and NHL. That player was the Flames’ 179th overall draft pick in the 2005 NHL entry draft, Brett Sutter. Sutter was an excellent fit and played a great season on the AHL’s top team.
By the numbers
Brett Sutter was typically found on the third line with Clark Bishop and Kevin Rooney when Rooney was sent down to the Wranglers. They formed a mature line of players with a lot larger hockey resumes than some of their younger teammates. They weren’t a very streaky line but instead brought consistency to their game night in and night out.
In the hockey world, Sutter isn’t exactly a young energetic forward on his entry level contract with him being at the age of 36 years old. He is certainly in a different stage of his life than a good chunk of his teammates. However, age was not a disadvantage of his as the Wranglers captain played his best season points-wise since his 2018-19 year with the Ontario Reign.
Brett played in 70 games and finished ninth overall in team scoring through the regular season. He earned 29 points in those games with 14 goals and 15 assists. Of those 14 goals, four were game-winners.
Sutter also celebrated his 1,000th game in the AHL this past season, officially hitting that mark against his former team on Dec. 21, 2022. Brett Sutter was only the eighth player in AHL history to hit this milestone and to top it all off, he also scored the game-winning goal on that memorable night.
Unsurprisingly, the Wranglers’ captain also played in all nine of their postseason games. He earned two points through their playoff run with a lone goal and a lone assist. His goal came in their second game against the Coachella Valley Firebirds and was the game-winner in that competition.
Sutter is one of those players whose reality is likely setting in and I’d imagine the reality of falling in playoffs this season stings a little more than some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you don’t know how many opportunities you have left to win a championship with your team. His efforts behind the scenes were likely quite substantial due to this.
I’ve made it this far into this article without mentioning the elephant in the room and that is Brett has direct relations to now former-Flames Head Coach, Darryl Sutter. Brett is the second of three of Darryl’s kids and that relationship was likely one that brought Brett back to Calgary. However, that did not seem to cause any type of tension on or off the ice with the other players. While no one said it, the idea of playing with the son of the Coach you’re trying to play for in the NHL could have put pressure on players before the season got going.
Keeping this in mind, Darryl Sutter is no longer the Head Coach of the Flames and any indications of Brett departing from Calgary to follow behind just don’t seem to be there. Brett briefly spoke on Flames Talk on the Fan960 about what his future in hockey looks like saying, “If I’m going to play again, I’d like it to be here.”
Sutter was signed to a one-year AHL contract last summer as one of the first signing announcements from the new team. Taking his comments with a grain of salt, it appears his choices for the 2023-24 season are retiring or continuing his run as a Wrangler.
Taking into consideration Sutter’s role, age and the overall success of his team, I give Brett a B+ rating on his season. He was everything you hope for out of a captain and presented himself with poise and professionalism on and off the ice. I sincerely hope we see him next year in a Wranglers jersey with a C sewn on the front.
Recent articles from Paige Siewert