Hockey's first family of central Alberta is about to have a great weekend.
The Sutters have already enjoyed a summer to remember in 2012. It started with Brody Sutter signing an entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on June 1, followed shortly by his uncle Darryl capturing his first Stanley Cup as coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Then, on a draft day to remember, Brandon Sutter was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly before the Winnipeg Jets selected his cousin, Lukas, in the second round.
Following all these incredible milestones, the Sutter family will have one final memory this weekend when the Stanley Cup arrives in Red Deer for Darryl's day with the most iconic trophy in sports.
"Central Alberta is quite excited. It's obviously an honor," said Darryl's brother Brian, who played 12 seasons in the NHL before serving as coach for an additional 13 seasons with four teams. "We're not just quite thrilled, we're honored. We were just talking about it right now, about its grand entry, with the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] bringing it in. It's greatly appreciated, believe me."
It's the latest historic chapter for an iconic family that saw six brothers play in the NHL through the 1970s and '80s and five cousins (including Brandon, Brody and Luke) drafted by NHL teams since 1998.
When the Cup arrives in Red Deer on Friday in time to serve as the guest of honor at the annual Sutter Fund golf tournament, it will truly be a family affair. Now in its 17th year, the charity tournament raises money for needy families in the region and this year will attract more than 200 golfers.
"All the brothers will be here and a bunch of nephews," Brian Sutter told NHL.com. "This will be the third time we've had the Cup come here. In central Alberta, we're quite honored to have it. We're all family out here -- family and friends."
After the Cup's appearance at the golf tournament, it will spend Saturday and part of Sunday on the Sutter family farm in Viking, about 140 miles northeast of Red Deer. The Cup is scheduled to travel back to Los Angeles on Monday for a series of events.
"It's been an absolutely awesome summer for Red Deer and Viking," Brian Sutter said. "It's kind of neat -- pretty special."