January 29 practice quotes: Darryl Sutter

On what Robyn Regehr did well in Wednesday’s win over Chicago:
He’s got to be a physical presence every game. He’s got to be a good penalty killer. He’s got to be a lead-by-example guy. He still has the ability to do that, and he does that. It’s an important side of the ice for us, because Brayden – it seems like we’re talking about the same thing over – but Brayden and Muzz, it’s important to have a guy who plays that side, when you look at the left side of the ice, that can go out and play on the last shift and protect the lead and things like that. You know what? That’s who’s on the ice at the end of the game when we’re up a goal. If it was the end of the game and we’re down a goal, he’s not, but at the end of the game, he’s out there, and it’s a big reason why you win the game.

On whether Jake Muzzin’s game is on an “upswing”:
When they have a bad game, I’m critical of them, and basically what you say is that I said that he had a bad game. [Reporter: Actually, you were saying he hadn’t played well since Christmas.] He’s a high-minus defenseman. We need him to be a hell of a lot better than that. And actually, I’m telling the truth, and actually that is right. He’s a high-minus defenseman playing with one of the best defensemen in the league, and for us to make the playoffs, he can’t be. [Reporter: But is he getting better from Christmas?] Just base it on the last game. So if he played better last night than he did before the break the last game, whatever you want to call it, call it.

On the AHL’s California migration:
Glad they’re finally putting it in place formally. They’re saying five teams? So that I think’s a good start. Something that we talked about a long time when I was in Calgary and Brian Burke was in Vancouver was trying to get more teams to be involved in it. At that time we couldn’t get any of these teams in California to be involved in it. [Reporter: So it has been a long time in the making.] Yeah. At that point, Vancouver was very interested in it, and now because they went to…Utica, now Calgary is in which is something that we talked about, and we’ve got all three of the California teams. So hopefully it works – and it should – and the next part will be trying to get [more teams]. Five is an odd number. You’d like to have an even number of teams. [Reporter: When you were in Calgary, where were they?] Then? Calgary? We didn’t have a team one year. We shared with Carolina in Lowell for a year, the year of the big lockout. Then we were in, I believe, Omaha, Quad Cities, Abbotsford, and that’s before Winnipeg came into the league because it would’ve been better if Vancouver was Abbotsford and Calgary was Winnipeg, which is eventually probably what [have happened] if Winnipeg wouldn’t have gotten an NHL team. But then, once obviously Winnipeg went in the NHL, Abbotsford was just too far. Winnipeg used to be – Abbotsford could get Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Rochester all in a pretty good swing there. It’ll be interesting to see how they announce the schedule and format and all that, because it’s going to have to balance somehow, because there’s going to have to be a playoff setup that works with the rest of the American League. It’s an interesting league, because you have teams in Charlotte that are in the West Division. That’s the farthest southeast team there is, and they play in, I believe, that West Division. [Reporter: Rochester’s in the west. New York.] Abbotsford, because you could use Hamilton as a home base, if you look at it, it is the closest. You can use Hamilton as a base. So when you’d go on those trips, you’d base out of there. In fact, I think teams – we had storage places in Hamilton where you didn’t have to pack a lot of stuff. It stayed there for the road.

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