Brett here for one rea'son'

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Yes, the name of the GM who summoned the player from the minors is Darryl Sutter.

Yes, the player called up from the Quad City Flames is Brett Sutter, his son.

To a man, though, the Flames organization doesn't see the situation as anything beyond a player brought up to fill a fourth-line spot in tonight's clash against the Anaheim Ducks.

The last name is academic.

"Everybody makes a big deal about his last name, but there's been lots (of Sutters) before him and will be ones after him," Darryl Sutter said yesterday.

Forward Brett Sutter was brought up from the minors and practised with his teammates yesterday at the Saddledome, then began preparing for a milestone moment -- his first NHL game.

Now that's an early Christmas present.

"It was a really big shock. I just flew home to the farm (in Viking) for Christmas (Sunday) and got the call," said the 21-year-old, who practised on a line with Andre Roy and Eric Nystrom.

"There's a bit of nerves, but at the same time you've got to keep yourself grounded and level-headed. Just focus on playing your game, not doing anything out of the ordinary. Just keep it simple and there you go."

Brett Sutter was chosen by the Flames 179th overall in the 2005 draft. His father was chosen by Chicago 179th overall in 1978.

He'll become the eighth Sutter to play in the NHL. His father is one of the six siblings to skate in the league, and his cousin, Brandon, is a rookie with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Brett Sutter, who's collected a goal and six assists in 28 games with Quad City, knows full well there are those out there who believe his opportunities have come because of his last name.

"I try not to think about that kind of stuff," he said.

"I've put my time in every year and worked in the off-season to get this opportunity. You try not to think about what those people are saying."

Nystrom, who knows a thing or two about nepotism talk due to his famous father, is quick to shoot down that perception.

"That's not going to happen at this level. There's too much at stake," he said.

"We're here to win the Stanley Cup. We're here to win first place. They're going to call up the guy who's most suitable for what we need to win, and they know who that guy is.

"If Brett's that guy, that's why he's here. He works as hard as any guy I've seen and is going to do what he can to contribute and help us win. I don't think he thinks he's here for his last name. He's here because he's worked hard enough to earn a spot."

The flipside to all the attention of being a Sutter is the extra scrutiny, but the GM said he doesn't see it that way.

"I think we've been down that road as a family for 30 years," Darryl Sutter said.

"He's the type of player our team probably needs right now, another forward that can check ... He's a smart guy. He hasn't done offensively what he would have liked to have done so far, but he's shown it before.

"I'm concerned about the identity of our team."

Flames head coach Mike Keenan has the distinction of having coached four of the Sutters -- Rich, Ron, Duane and Brent -- and coached with Darryl and Brian.

Asked whether he'd ease Brett into action tonight, he said not a chance.

"I don't think you ease a Sutter into it," Keenan said.

"You earn an opportunity to play here and you never know where that opportunity's going to take you."


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