The farmer on the ice - LA Kings Insider

Darryl Sutter is in charge of a couple dozen humans and approximately 300 animals. The humans are getting the bulk of his attention these days, as they — that would be the Kings — have reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Because of that, Sutter still has plenty of work to do on the ice. Otherwise, he would he would up north, just outside the tiny town of Viking, Alberta, Canada, working his 3,000-acre farm. Long before hockey became the Sutter family business, it was farming, as his Darryl’s parents, Louis and Grace, raised him and his six brothers in rural Alberta.

Darryl Sutter’s business is cattle. He owns approximately 300 cows and 15 bulls, and also grows and harvests grain in order to feed the animals and prepare them for sale. Amazingly, it’s essentially a one-man operation. If Sutter wasn’t coaching now, he would be planting wheat, canola, oats and barley, and tending to the 290 calves that have been born on his farm this year. When Sutter got hired to replace Terry Murray in December, it took a few days for the hiring to become official. Sutter needed a replacement on the farm, and handed off the duties to his son-in-law, who gets some help from neighbor ranchers.

If Sutter wasn’t still coaching hockey today, he would be sitting on a tractor — “That’s where I should have been yesterday,’’ Sutter said — and farm life is never far from his mind. Asked today, by some city-folk media types, about planting and harvesting, Sutter spoke at length about the lack of snow last winter in his area of Alberta, and how that actually made it more difficult to plant crops this spring. Snow, Sutter explained, acts as insulation, so when there’s no snow, the ground becomes colder and harder, and therefore takes longer to thaw out and be ready for planting. Who knew?

Sutter’s youngest son, Chris, is finishing high school in the Calgary area, and the coach’s family has been trying to squeeze in as many playoff games in Los Angeles as possible. The family also spends time on the farm near Viking, a town with a listed population of 1,041. Sutter offered a total of 1,200, then corrected himself to “probably about 1,140.’’ The farm is actually eight miles outside of Viking, which means trips “to town,’’ Sutter said, meaning “to the post office, pay field bills, go to the bar.’’

Asked what he did for fun in Viking, away from the farm, Sutter could hardly believe what seemed to be an innocuous question. Fun? “That’s a way of life,’’ Sutter said of farming. “People don’t understand that. You just go to the grocery store and buy what we do for 24 hours.’’

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.