Brotherly combo gets fans pumped

BILL KAUFMANN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Inking Alberta hockey icon Brent Sutter as Flames head coach is a powerplay for the squad, say fans.

The former New Jersey Devils bench boss will be a welcome change from ex-coach Mike Keenan, who never won the respect of players, Peter MacDonald said over a glass of wine at Beckham's Pub, 1355 32 Ave. N.E.

"They might have been scared of Keenan, but they didn't respect him," said MacDonald.

"The locker-room will be a much happier place ... the Sutter brothers together will be a dynamic duo."

The Sutters "are hockey people," said MacDonald, adding if the arrangement doesn't work out, GM Darryl Sutter will be down the road.

"This is Darryl's last chance to fix it," he said.

While Bob Knight acknowledged the Sutters as excellent hockey minds, he questioned the bias brother Darryl might show his sibling.

"Is he going to fire his brother if he screws up?" said Knight, 53.

"In your management structure, you have to take into account any conflict of interest."

Sports collectibles retailer Barry Dvorkin predicted the stock in Brent Sutter's rookie cards during his Stanley Cup stint with the New York Islanders will soon rise.

"It'll increase in value if the Flames increase in value and I think they'll do well," said Dvorkin, owner of The Right Stuff, 920 16 Ave. N.W.

"He's a good teacher and I don't think Keenan was ... He was the best guy available and we got him."

Brent's Stanley Cup rings and rapport with marquee players bodes well for him behind the Flames' bench, said Bruce MacKenzie, owner of Riverbend Station Pub, 40 Riverglen Dr. S.E.

"He's got the experience. He knows how to control the millionaires," said MacKenzie.

Flames fan Stephen King also said the addition of another Sutter should bring a stronger no-nonsense mindset to the squad.

"They represent everything good about growing up in small-town Alberta," said King, 45.


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