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Burt gets fresh start with Grizz

Scott Burt, right, shown last year playing for Idaho in a game at the E Center, is now playing for Utah instead of against it.
Scott Burt, right, shown last year playing for Idaho in a game at the E Center, is now playing for Utah instead of against it.
Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News

WEST VALLEY CITY — Scott Burt won two ECHL Kelly Cup championship rings with the Idaho Steelheads, for whom he played the past seven years. He was a part of two Kelly Cup runners-up teams there, losing once in Game 7 and losing another time in a double-overtime Game 6. Burt is the franchise leader in games played and No. 2 in Idaho career goals, points and penalty minutes. He has a home, business, wife and four dogs in Boise.

Burt expected to be a Steelhead until his career was complete.

But here he is in the Utah Grizzlies' preseason training camp that started Sunday at Acord Ice Center.

Burt calls his departure from Boise "bittersweet."

"The organization has treated me well for the last seven years," he said. "I have nothing but good things to say about the organization.

"It just had something to do with myself and the coach there in Boise," said the 10th-year pro. "We didn't see eye-to-eye. The coach is right. They've got to believe in their coach, and so be it."

Burt played for Derek Laxdal for two years with Idaho but was closer to his first Steelhead coach, John Olver, now general manager of the Iowa Stars AHL team, part of Idaho's parent club, the NHL Dallas Stars.

"I was one of J.O.'s boys. He (Laxdal) wanted to bring his guys in, and I was the last remaining guy," said Burt.

So he is taking his championship experience to the grateful Grizzlies, who've been close to the basement since they joined the ECHL three seasons ago.

"The most important thing in the ECHL is having an older guy that not only has won but competes as hard as he has," said Grizzlies' coach Jason Christie. "He was a big part of them winning the league last year."

"He works extremely hard on and off the ice. He likes to help the younger guys, show them the right way," Christie added, comparing Burt's attitude to that of Grizzly captain Travis Rycroft.

Burt indicated he thinks his experience can help turn things in the right direction.

"We don't want nothing but a championship here," he said. "We're really focusing this year on coming together as a family. That's how you win. You learn together.

"I bring leadership. I do believe I can help these young guys. I still believe I'm one of the fastest guys in the league."

Burt helped the Steelheads post a 12-3-1 all-time mark against the Grizzlies (6-1-1 last season). He had a goal and six assists in seven games against Utah last year, including a three-assist night in an 8-3 win Feb. 23.

"I'm here for a fresh start," he said. "It's rejuvenated me, and I'm just excited to get going again."

Grizzly fans will see that enthusiasm in the home opener Oct. 26 in the E Center. Conveniently, the game is against Idaho.