Skip to main content

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

1 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

2 of 18

On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

3 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

4 of 18

Story continues below advertisement

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

5 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

6 of 18

The sign for the Sutter’s ranch in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

7 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

8 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

9 of 18

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

10 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

11 of 18

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

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

12 of 18

On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

13 of 18

On the Sutter ranch in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

14 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

15 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

16 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

17 of 18

Brian Sutter works on the farm in Viking, Alta.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

18 of 18

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies