Expect Sutter to sit back for UFA blitz

BILLY POWERS

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

It is not often one can catch Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter on a golf course these days -- he is known as a workaholic who is determined to bring the Stanley Cup back to Calgary one day.

But Flame food services director Art Hernandez enticed the hockey guru into playing at this week's member-guest event out at Cottonwood.

And I took advantage by cornering Sutter for about three minutes with hockey, not golf, the topic.

In no particular order, he told me while the unrestricted free agent game gets started today "our signing of Adrian Aucoin (after a trade with Chicago) means we'll probably not get involved."

And when I suggested his signing of Mike Keenan as head coach brought a negative reaction from the fans he said: "I disagree and think the signing of Keenan is as important to our club as the signing of an unrestricted free agent."

He went on, though, to say right now his number one priority is to "make new deals with our best players and named Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Robyn Regehr."

Sutter added another item on the agenda was "to sign the people that we want to keep around for a long time" and that same day the club announced a new three-year deal with centre Wayne Primeau.

Sutter also said "our top players can all be better and I think Mike can impact that."

Then, while saying Keenan had full control of filling out his coaching staff, Sutter added "I have played and coached for years with Rich Preston and Rico has coached with Keenan so that might be somewhat of a positive in that search."

As for the other coaches, Wayne Fleming, David Marcoux and Rob Cookson, Sutter said: "They are all good coaches and I hope somebody grabs them soon."

Incidentally, Sutter and Hernandez were not in the prizes; neither were Cottonwood superintendent Jay Leach and yours truly but in this affair, everybody was a winner as the "tee prize" was a YES putter with a retail value of $180.

CALLAWAY GOOD

In all modesty, I am dazzling the troops this year with my new Callaway square head driver and continued to do so this week at Priddis Greens, Glen Eagles and Cottonwood.

It's not that I'm hitting it long but the club, which one guy described as a Wendy's hamburger, just keeps the ball in play and that, boys and girls, is more than half the battle.

The only trouble is while the club can be effective for some, like myself, the company had no idea it would prove so popular, so there are none available for sale and some pros have even resorted to selling their demos, taking the tryout part out of the equation.

WACKY WEATHER

I have to pass along an odd happening Monday at Priddis Greens, because it's something I'd never experienced before.

Playing a fun round with Regis Plaza Hotel owner Wayne Kryko, his son Darren, and Blake Parker, the son of former Calgary Cannons owner, Russ, we heard the horn denoting lightning in the area.

After a wait under cover we decided to head back to the clubhouse for a coolie with Parker and myself sharing a power cart.

It was pelting down rain but what happened as we left the 14th hole on The Hawk will remain with me forever.

Blake and I looked back at the 14th to see a hole getting rained on, but while looking ahead, ran into a sea of white. One second there was heavy rain, then it was a battering of hail and the trip home was like a sleigh ride. Less than an hour later you would not have known anything out of the ordinary had happened. But we certainly did.


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