‘I’m More of A Fan Than I’ve Ever Been’: Sutton On Mentoring Teammates

As a former National Hockey League journeyman, Andy Sutton was proud to show rookie teammates the ropes of the League. Some of those first-years have blossomed into great NHLers, such as New York Islanders skater Josh Bailey. 

Sutton spent three years on Long Island and was fortunate to share his wisdom with the forward, who has become a significant depth piece for the club.

“You look at Josh Bailey, for example, being there and playing so well. It’s awesome to see some of these young guys,” Sutton said during an interview with TSN 1260. 

“Josh, as an example, was young and everyone knew he was going to be good. He was good when he was young and now to see him interviewed, he’s turned into an incredible veteran. He’s a grown man and commands the play out there. It’s been pretty cool to see guys like that turn into incredible superstars.”

Not only has Sutton found himself happy to witness the evolution of former teammates, but he also holds the same reverence for the past franchises he represented. Nowadays, the former NHL defender finds himself in awe of the speed and skill of the game, and embraces it as a fan.

“I would say I’m more of a fan than I’ve ever been,” said the Verbero Owner & CEO. “When I first stopped playing, it was tough to watch. I knew so many of the players and I still felt like I could play. I found it challenging to watch the games and not make it more personal. 

"Now, I just watch as a fan. The game is so fast now and it’s in great shape. There are so many younger, dynamic players that I never got a chance to play against that I’m enjoying watching. In general, the caliber of play is exceptional.”