The seventh Sutter son, Rich Sutter, became the sixth Sutter scorer on October 23, 1983. In 2008, on the same date, Brandon Sutter, son of the fifth Sutter son (Brent), became the first second-generation and seventh Sutter to score. Rich’s Philadelphia Flyers won at home in 1983 (8-5), but 25 years later, Brandon scored the only Carolina Hurricanes’ goal when visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1).
Six of the seven Sutter brothers played for the NHL – a record number of siblings. Brian played for the St. Louis Blues from 1976 until 1992 and scored his first goal on February 26, 1977. Darryl played for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1979 until 1987. Meanwhile, Duane played for the New York Islanders from 1979 to 1987 and then for the Blackhawks from 1987 to 1990. They scored their first goals within a couple of weeks of each other in the autumn of 1979 (November 30th for Duane and December 16th for Darryl). Brent joined Duane in New York from 1980 to 1991 and then played for the Blackhawks from 1992 to 1998. He potted his first goal on February 26, 1980. Ron played for the Flyers from 1982 to 1991, the Blues from 1991 to 1993, then spent a few nomadic years before playing with the San Jose Sharks from 1996 to 2000 and the Calgary Flames for his final season. Ron’s first goal was made on December 9, 1982.
Although Rich began his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers on October 23, 1983, just hours before his first game and first goal. Skating on his line, Rich’s twin Ron received credit for the assist. After the game, linemate Darryl Sittler said, “They have good bloodlines and I’m sure they’re going to be a large part of our future.” Indeed, Rich made history as the sixth brother to make a goal in the NHL. A week later, October 30, 1983 would be the first time the twins together would face off against the Islanders, the team of their older brothers Duane and Brent. In 1986, Rich was traded to the Vancouver Canucks. Like his older brothers, he then (in the 1990s) spent time skating for the Blues and the Blackhawks.As for the second generation, Brent’s son Brandon made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes in 2008. His first goal was against his uncle Rich’s first team, the Penguins. Unfortunately, a former Hurricane collided with him at the next game (two nights later) causing a concussion that resulted in Brandon missing eight games. In 2012, Brandon was traded to the Penguins, who traded him to the Canucks in 2015. That meant that Brandon played for two of the same teams as his uncle Rich.
Exactly two months after Brandon’s first goal, on December 23, 2008, his cousin Brett scored his first in his first game. As general manager of the Calgary Flames, Darryl Sutter brought his son into the fold for a 4-3 victory. Brett was the eighth member of the Sutter family to score in the NHL.
For the Sutter family, skating and scoring has become the family tradition.
- Mike Commito, Hockey 365: Daily Stories from the Ice (Toronto: Dundurn, 2018), 23.