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Heading across the Alberta plains in a pickup truck, it’s easy to see why NHL legend Brian Sutter and his brothers managed to collect six Stanley Cups. Sutter is gritty and humble, and his handshake is like a hydraulic vice – that’s what comes from a lifetime slinging hay bales and competing with the best hockey players in the world. “I always worked for it,” says Sutter. “I was a grinder. But I could score, too.” He points to his nose, which is bent in several places. “And I had my share of fights.” Sutter is also a dyed-in-the-wool truck guy. He grew up on a ranch in Viking, Alta. where the family car was a pickup truck, and he still uses a truck every day. Even after they became NHL stars, Sutter and his brothers stayed in touch with their farming roots. The first new vehicle Sutter bought was a red Ford half-ton he purchased with the signing bonus he got from the St. Louis Blues in 1976. But he was embarrassed to drive it around the family farm: “It was all fancy,” he says. “Mom and dad never got new trucks.” And I’m here with a brand-new Ford F-150 as part of an odyssey through the Rockies and across the Alberta plains.

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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The sign for the Sutter’s ranch in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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The Sutter brothers pose with their mother and the Stanley Cup in a picture displayed at the Sutter Ranch in Viking, Alberta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter and Peter Cheney pose for a photo on the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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