RALEIGH, N.C. -- Prepare for another installation of Sutter vs. Sutter.
Only this time it won’t be Kings Coach Darryl Sutter coaching against one of his many brothers. The twist is that he will coaching tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes and one of their centers is Brett Sutter, his oldest son.
Sutter paid him the highest compliment, in terms of Sutter-speak.
“He’s a good team guy,” Sutter said after the Kings morning skate here on Friday.
The Kings are not expected to feature any lineup changes, and Sutter said defenseman Alec Martinez is in again, meaning defenseman Jake Muzzin is out. Carolina, having played and won last night in Washington, did not have a full-team skate on Friday.
Unfortunately, because of the schedule, Sutter said he had not yet spoken to his son that morning.
“I wish we had some time off so I could see him,” Sutter said. “It’s not a big deal coaching against him. We’ve been in locker rooms our whole lives. The only time I’ve coached him, the only time I’ve been on the ice with him is in novice hockey.
“He grew up in the dressing room. He knows what’s going on.”
Brett would have been under 10 when he was coached by his father. The time that father and son had together was special on the ice. Sutter said it was after he stepped down as Chicago’s coach in 1995. That’s when he put his family first, returning home to Alberta to help raise his youngster son, Christopher, who was born with Down syndrome.
“Brett’s a good player,” Sutter said. “He’s like Fraze (Colin Fraser) and those guys that play that role, that the same player.”
Brett, 26, is the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL, and there has been no shortage of pressure in dealing with that famous name, particularly in Canada, and considering he started his NHL career with the Calgary Flames organization. In fact, Sutter traded Brett to Carolina in 2010 when he was Calgary’s GM.
“He’s made his own career,” Sutter said. “He’s done it himself. Everybody always talks about -- because of our last name -- all of us boys. We all had to do it differently and do it the hard way. Nobody did it the easy way."