BUFFALO -- Carter Hutton was putting his two young kids to bed Sunday night and came back to discover several text messages awaiting him.
He learned that in the few minutes he had stepped away, Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White introduced himself as being from the Tre White Goalie Academy during the introductions on NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcast.
"Me and Linus [Ullmark] had a good laugh this morning talking about it," Hutton said.
Last season, the two Sabres goalies, forward Kyle Okposo and defenseman Rasmus Risolainen took part in a commercial promoting the fictional organization, produced by the Buffalo Bills in an effort to get White elected to the Pro Bowl. The Sabres and Bills are owned by Terry and Kim Pegula.
"I lied on my application just so I could get into the Advanced Celebration Program," Ristolainen says in the video.
Former Sabres goalie and current analyst Martin Biron serves as the spokesperson while noting he's "also a student."
In a video tweeted by the Bills in November 2018, which preceded the ad campaign, White attended a Sabres game and was asked who his favorite player is. "Forty. Goalie. Sutton. We just got him, right? Hutton, yeah."
"I always thought we were going to be a blockbuster hit but it took some time," Hutton said of the gag finding new life a year later. "It was great. Just the whole initial video. I think people still call me Sutton, so it's kind of funny."
The pair have yet to meet but the appreciation is mutual.
"It's great. It's honestly one of the beautiful things about playing in Buffalo," Hutton said. "We've got sports fans through and through, whether it's the Bills or Sabres. Tre White's a character and he's a heck of a player. I try to stay a little more quiet; I'm more a character behind the scenes, I don't try to do it in the light but those guys are something else and they're playing well, so it's awesome."
Sabres coach Ralph Krueger told reporters on Monday that he sacrified some sleep to watch the end of the late game, but it was a necessary move for one of the newest members of the Bills Mafia, who has developed a special friendship with Bills coach Sean McDermott.
"Sean and I are passionate here, both of us, to get the sports community back on the track it deserves to be on in the area," Krueger said. "It's a lot of fun. Both of us are having a lot of fun in our work and I've become the biggest Bills fans out there -- Well, as big as anybody else. I'm sure there's bigger Bills fans out there, but I watched every second of every minute of every snap yesterday."