SUN Hockey Pool

In no rush to sit at the table

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE -- Make no mistake, Darryl Sutter was much happier watching a junior hockey game last night instead of having a bite to eat with the 29 other NHL GMs. Besides, the Flames GM-head coach spent plenty of time this week with commissioner Gary Bettman.

Therefore, going to the meet and greet in New York wasn't necessary.

"There's lots of general managers not going," he said moments before the clash between the WHL all-stars and Russian Selects at the Lethbridge Enmax Centre. "Kevin (Lowe of the Oilers) and I both spent time with Gary all day (Wednesday) or the day before. I think everybody's making too big of a deal about going for dinner."

Sutter was lauded along with his brothers Brian, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron as honorary captains for last night's game. They all played for Lethbridge during their WHL days and it was a rare chance to mingle in a social setting during what's normally a hockey season.

They also were able to celebrate Rich and Ron's 41st birthdays.

"Last year, they were 40, so last year they were over the hill," Darryl said with a grin.

News the NHLPA is about to make a new offer in an attempt to end the lockout that's now more than 11 weeks long was greeted with some optimism. But not much.

"It's got to be substantial and it's got to be productive," Sutter said. "What Gary Bettman said (Wednesday) in Calgary is fact and that's what we believe.

"I've said all along, the Calgary Flames need a new agreement. It's very, very simple. It serves us no purpose to rush back without an agreement that works for us and works for everybody.

"However long it takes, that's how long it takes."


Photos