On the day of the game, the son seemed a lot more comfortable answering questions than the father.
Canes center Brandon Sutter patiently endured three rounds of media this morning, all asking various forms of the same question: what would it be like playing against his father, Brent Sutter, the coach of the New Jersey Devils. Brandon smiled and laughed, looking completely at ease.
But not Dad. Brent Sutter was decidedly ill at ease, sighing and taking deep breaths, as he stood outside the Devils' locker room answering the same. This, he said, would not be anything like playing against his five brothers in the NHL.
"It's different. He's your son," Brent said. "As a dad, it's weird, it's different."
And it's not as if it's a one-and-done. Tonight's game is the first of four Canes-Devils games this season and there will be more in the years to come or in the playoffs.
"I guess you get accustomed to it, used to it," Brent said. "He probably will. I don't know that I ever will as a dad, but I think he might.
"... The biggest thing for me is that I want him to do well and have a long career and a successful career."
Brent Sutter did crack a hint of a smile when he was asked whom his wife, Connie, would be pulling for tonight. Brandon, he said.
"I told her to root for him," Brent said. "That's what she should be doing."
And about that father-and-son meal last night. Who paid the bill?
"I did," Brent said with one last sigh.