Sutter settles into expanded role with Rebels

  • Nov. 28, 2012 3:58 p.m.

Brent Sutter wears many hats when it comes to the Red Deer Rebels organization and the recent change behind the bench appears to have started with the general manager hat firmly in place.

“It was very obvious in training camp that two things we lacked in were we lacked in size and we lacked in skill,” he said. “So I had to be proactive as a GM to go out and find us some skilled players.”

A dizzying array of moves saw younger players moved in and out of the lineup as well as team captain Adam Kambeitz shipped off to Saskatoon.

More players were brought in as Sutter formed what he felt was the team he had envisioned and while he provided the fuel to run the bus the coaching staff led by Jesse Wallin were still doing the driving.

“It was still his (Wallin) team and he was the head coach and he had to be able to coach the team the way he wanted and I allowed him to do that and rightly so,” said Sutter.

“But when it’s not working you have to evaluate it and we evaluated it and Jesse and I sat down and had conversations about it and then ultimately I had to make my decision,” he said.

Sutter admits it was a difficult conversation with a good friend but he was now wearing the owner’s hat and so the organization’s future was placed at the top of the agenda.

Sutter is well aware of the large number of coaches and general managers sitting in the seats at the Enmax Centrium on game nights but he embraces that as opposed to getting defensive about his decisions.

“It’s our culture in Canada. Everyone is a coach and everyone is a manager and that’s just the way it is,” he said.

Moving forward Sutter says some aspects of the team at the start of the season will stay the same and he credits Wallin and Bryce Thoma for their contributions in those areas but he will also put his mark on the team even if he’s wearing an interim coaching hat at this point in the season.

“I see things a little bit differently on the offensive side of the game and being able to create more and the way the game is played today,” he said. “Putting more excitement, putting more energy in your game and that’s just my feelings on it as a coach.”

Captain Turner Elson says he still has respect for his former coach but quickly added a change was required.

“There’s different plays, there’s different styles of game we’re playing,” he said. “Brent is all about go, go, go and we’re going to be a forceful team and we’re always going to be on our toes and Jesse was trying to create that but the guys were just not buying into it.”

Sutter explained there was not a single factor like the players tuning out the coach or a difficult start to the season — losing six straight exhibition games and the first three regular season games — which tipped the scales in any way.

He is now wearing the coaching hat and figures the team hitting the ice now is a closer reflection of what he had formulated in his mind at the start of the year but it is still a work in progress as the Rebels look towards the final goal of a Memorial Cup.

“It’s just young guys. You’ve got to develop and be patient with them and then again you’ve got to make them feel like they can be part of the solution and not be the problem.”

Just Posted

UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP arrest man involved in fatal hit and run

RCMP flew to Nipawin, Sask. to arrest Tosh Vertraeten

Pop Evil hits the stage at Bo’s Nov. 25th

Acclaimed band is touring in support of self-titled disc released early this year

Oh What a Night! celebrates iconic American legends

Frankie Valli and Andy Williams honoured during Red Deer show

Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Black Panther claw, Power Rangers blade among 2018’s ‘worst toys,’ safety group says

The World Against Toys Causing Harm organized announced its 46th annual list in Boston on Tuesday

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Most Read