Coyotes react to Sutter charges

Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter allegedly punched a cab driver around 2 a.m. Thursday morning....

Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter allegedly punched a cab driver around 2 a.m. Thursday morning. (QMI Agency files)

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:07 PM ET

GLENDALE, Az. — On another night, it could just as easily have been a member of the Phoenix Coyotes being taken away in a police cruiser.

The club outside of which Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter allegedly punched a cab driver around 2 a.m. Thursday morning is one frequented by the younger Coyotes on off nights.

“You’re going to run into people who want to size themselves up to you in a way,” said Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall. “Confrontations happen all the time, especially when you’re out with a bunch of guys, you’re having a good time.

“We stand out. We dress really well ... girls ... whatever it is, it’s something that as a pro, you’ve really got to know your boundaries and when things get carried away, you’ve got to be able to turn your back.”

The Flames had their rookie party Wednesday night in Scottsdale — an annual tradition during which the team’s freshmen foot the bill for dinner and drinks — and it ended with Sutter being arrested on suspicion of assault. He or his legal counsel is due back in court Nov. 30 to enter a plea.

“It’s not the first time it’s happened. It won’t be the last time. It’s just another story that’s gonna go away in a couple of days,” said Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski. “I think you’ve just got to be aware of your surroundings. You talk about the buddy system, make sure you’ve got someone with you ... someone just to grab you and pull you away and go.

“I’m not saying don’t go out and have fun, because we’re all about having a good time — I think you deserve it, it’s a long year — you’ve just got to be aware of the outcome and situations you’re getting yourself involved in.”

Because of Sutter’s last name, the fact his GM (Darryl) is his dad and head coach (Brent) is his uncle, caution becomes even more important.

“I guess he won’t have to talk to two people, getting a call from your dad and the GM,” joked Upshall before getting serious again.

“It sucks. You feel bad for a young kid. You just hope as a whole we can all learn from something like that.”

The lesson is something preached to professional sports figures on a regular basis. Don’t get caught in a potentially dangerous situation, even if it might seem innocent at the time.

“Especially now, we talk to NHL security and we have our meetings and we know that there’s a lot more exposure for us out there with cameras and cellphones and everything,” said Coyotes defenceman Adrian Aucoin, who as a former Flame has played with Brett Sutter. “We have to be on our toes a little more. But still sometimes things get a little bit out of hand.

“I’ve had a lot of experience with teammates getting pictures taken when they shouldn’t be. Not that they’re doing anything wrong, but it’s just pictures that you don’t really need people to see. Just hanging out in bars.

“It’s common knowledge everybody goes out and does it, but just keeping a lower profile helps.

“Honestly, there’s a lot worse that goes on all the time that people never hear about. Wrong place, wrong time — not that I’m condoning it.

“I know Brett and he’s a good kid. I’m sure it’s probably something he’d (like to take back).

“It’s unfortunate, but things happen.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/MacfarlaneSteve


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