His own coach in Juniors - who happens to be the Red Deer Rebels' owner, too - even famously said, after he was initially drafted:
No, he’s not ready for NHL hockey. Conner still needs to grow, especially with skating and defensive responsibilities. His vision needs to improve. I’m not Colorado, I’m not Patrick Roy, but I feel like he’s not NHL-ready. There is growth in his game. There is a reason he went 23rd and not in the top-10, but I do think he’s a great prospect for that organization.That coach/owner? None other than Brent Sutter. And, judging by my favourite comments from Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, honesty and being a straight shooter is definitely a family trait.
There will never be enough Sutters in hockey. They are the example of why and how its players are down-to-earth, much more so than their counterparts in football, basketball and perhaps even baseball. Hockey does have a few flamboyant personalities (Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, P.K. Subban) - and we love them; but it's those quiet, hard-working "common men" grinders that push the sport itself through the decades.
Sutter's Rebels were the hosts of the 2016 Memorial Cup, which eventually went to Dale Hunter's London Knights; througout the season, he's had to field calls about his team's future - more specifically, if he was looking to sell it.
Here are two cards I got in the mail this winter, signed in black sharpie, presumably from having sent them in 2014 or 2015 (my former computer died and I lost much of my sent-receipt data from 2013-15), first with card #529 from Upper Deck's 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee set and Marquee Legends sub-set, showing him wearing the New York Islanders' white (then-home) uniform, battling for position with a 1980s mustache carrying a hockey player: