The word truculence was used plenty by a former NHL GM when talking about what he wanted from his team. He never really got it.
Rebels Coach and General manager Brent Sutter didn’t toss out that word but instead went with grittier ones when talking about his version of the Red Deer Rebels this season. Something he definitely will get from his troops one way or another.
“Certainly it was one of the elements we lacked last spring and it showed in the second round of the playoffs,” he said as training camp opened for the Rebels.
The off season additions of Lukas Sutter and Spencer Morse are expected to add a little sand paper to the Rebels lineup according to the coach.
“They add some size to our team and hopefully we can be a little bigger team and have that little bit more of an element that we need to have that go with their skill and talent.”
If you look strictly at the numbers you can see just what each player will bring to the Rebels’ table.
The 6’1”, 214 lbs Sutter posted 520 PIM’s in 220 games with Saskatoon and Morse, at 6’4”, 200 lbs tallied 90 PIM’s last season in Moose Jaw.
Sutter says in addition to the two veteran players he expects some of the young guns in camp to make the roster or at the very least push the veterans to be better.
But he stressed the Rebels need to be a better team on the Enmax Centrium ice surface and get off to a good start in 2013 as opposed to the dismal beginning the team suffered through last year.
One of the biggest assets the Rebels will put towards being better sits between the pipes with goalie Patrik Bartosak.
The CHL Goalie of the year, who is now 20-years-old, will be returning for another season which made Sutter a happy man.
“When the NHL team (Los Angeles Kings) says they would love him to come back here if I would take him, then by all means,” he said. “It has obviously been a good fit for us and Patty and to do it for another year is outstanding.”
Sutter says it provides a stabile scenario in the most important position and it allows him to not have to put younger goalies on the roster in a tough spot.
With camp well underway Sutter has had a chance to give a quick assessment to the product on the ice and he was impressed with what the rookies brought to the sessions as well as the veterans.
“There’s been a lot intensity, a lot of emotion and I really like the pace and the level of speed that’s been shown here.”