And Ron makes Five

On November 28, 1982, a record of five siblings were playing in the National Hockey League at the same time when Ron Sutter became a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The brothers grew up in Viking, Alberta, Canada. Brian played for the St. Louis Blues from 1976 until his retirement in ’88. Darryl played with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1978 until he retired in ’87. Brent started with the New York Islanders in 1980 and was traded to the Blackhawks in the 1991-92 season. He retired in 1998. Duane started his career with the Islanders in 1979 and went to Chicago in ’87 where he played for his last three seasons. Many of their sons play for the NHL to continue the dynasty.

Sometimes the brothers earned the privilege to play off of the same bench while others were able to use the motivation of sibling rivalry to help beat the brother on the other side of the ice. At times one brother was managed or coached by another. Darryl was the general manager of the Calgary Flames when he had to trade his own son, Brett to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010.

Despite some of the brothers never seeing eye to eye, they all had similar goals. To play hockey. They were all brought up playing sports together so it was not such a big deal to all be in the NHL together. Their biggest competition was the race to the bathroom shared by all seven boys. The twins got first dibs, simply because they were the youngest. Unfortunately for the brothers, there was never a Sutter sister to toughen up.

Ron’s twin brother Rich was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1983, and the record number of brothers in the NHL became six. There could have been seven brothers in the league but Gary, who they say was the best, stayed home to work on the family farm instead of making a career plying hockey.

“Everyone asks: ‘What is your favorite memory?’ ” Darryl said. “Mine was the first time I played against all my brothers in the NHL. It was my favorite, not the hardest one. I can still remember the first time I played against Brian, the first time I played against Duane and Brent and Ronnie. It’s the same thing.”


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