When the Red Deer Rebels hosted the Mastercard Memorial Cup last year, as much as they focused on icing a competitive team for the tournament, they still kept one eye on the future.
It was never their intention to "sell the farm" and empty the cupboard, leaving them with nothing to work with for the 2016-17 season and beyond.
With that in mind, this season was all about development for Brent Sutter and his crew. The Rebels overhauled their goaltending positon, became younger on defence, and orchestrated a blockbuster trade to add an impact forward, promising young defenceman and restock draft picks.
In the end, the Rebels went 30-29-9-4 this season, good for 73 points and third place in the WHL Central Division, before losing to the Lethbridge Hurriances in seven games in the first round of playoffs.
On Wednesday, Sutter and several players took time out of their year-end meetings and locker cleanout to reflect on the season that was:
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