October 2 morning skate quotes: Darryl Sutter

On the reception in Vernon and the excitement level in the city:
It was lots of fun. It’s much better playing preseason games in venues where everyone’s excited and knowledgeable, especially the kids who never, ever get to see NHL games, so it was pretty awesome.

On seeing NHL players when he was younger:
I thought about this this morning. My first NHL game, my dad took us to the old Edmonton Gardens. It was a preseason game, and it was the Kings and the Canucks. I remember Eddie Shack playing for the Kings.

On whether he has visited Vernon:
No, it’s funny. You know, all the years, 37 training camps, and I’ve never been to Vernon, not even to see a junior game. It’s funny – I haven’t even driven through it. Gary (Sutter) lives in Kelowna, and all the players that I’ve come out to see over the years in the summer in the Okanagan, but never to visit.

On today’s game being a “big deal” for the community:
It is a big deal. I mean, if you’re just here because you had to be here, it’s not a big deal to you. It’s a big deal. It’s important to see the kids, and when you see a former player Jerred Smithson here with his little guy, it’s a big deal. I talked to a family friend who’s a single mom out here with two little boys, they can’t afford to go to an NHL game. They can’t drive to Vancouver, so they get to come here. Those kids will remember that forever. I do. I remember that. As I said, it’s in my mind,

On getting autographs when he was younger:
It’s another story – a WHA story, and this was in the Coliseum back then. Ross was playing for the Oilers. Ross Perkins. I remember waiting after the game not just to talk to him, because we had known each other, but he was playing on that team. I think it was Tim Sheehy. Remember? And I remember getting Tim Sheehy’s autograph. [Reporter: How long did you keep it?] I don’t know. I just remember Tim Sheehy because I thought he was a real smooth player and all that. I can remember that. That’s a long time ago. [Reporter: Especially kids – they look so big compared to people you’re used to.] I can remember getting Darcy Rota’s – and that was Mike Rogers, those guys. Mike Rogers was playing with the old Centennials, and Darcy Rota, they were playing the Oil Kings back then. I think some of those junior guys didn’t even wear helmets in the old gardens. I can remember getting their autographs, and then I played against ‘em in about five years. Funny. Good memories. Good memories.

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