Thanks to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Sutter family has been in the news feed a lot this off-season.
The Hurricanes made their final anticipated move of the off-season when they re-signed alternate captain Brandon Sutter to a three year deal. By signing Sutter, the Hurricanes can pop some champagne to celebrate one of their most successful off-seasons in franchise history in terms of bringing in new faces.
The 22-year-old forward locked up a deal that will pay him $6.2 million over the three year period. Though both sides wanted to have a long-term contract closer to six years, this three year deal seemed most realistic because nobody is certain how much Sutter’s production will improve or drop. Last season he played in all 82 games, finished with a career best plus-13 rating and had a team high 73 blocked shots and 2:21 minutes per game on the penalty kill.
Sutter is projected to center the second line this coming season, but there is still a slim chance he returns to the third line depending on how the coaching staff decides to mix up the lines. The logical option for the Hurricanes would be to give Sutter a chance at a larger role like he had during his rookie campaign. The Hurricanes finished the season 11-0-1 when Brandon scored a goal. The stats don’t lie.
Sutter scored 14 goals last season on the third line and he knows how to create offense. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say he could be a 60 point scorer in the NHL next season. Jim Rutherford mentions how he loves to see leadership and maturity coming from such a young skater and it shows that Carolina is heading in the right direction.
Sutter knows how to wear that “A” on his jersey with pride, even if he has to assume the role of team cheerleader. “Having relationships off the ice with some of the younger guys certainly helps because they can ask me things they may not have the opportunity to ask at the rink,” Sutter said.
Even though he only signed a three year commitment with Carolina, Rutherford mentioned that Sutter will be a core player of this franchise for a long time, if not for his entire career.
His cousin Brett, a member of the AHL Charlotte Checkers, didn’t have as good of news this week as Brandon did. Brett admitted on Monday to disorderly conduct to an incident that occurred in Scottsdale, AZ on November 11. Brett was fined $323.60 for punching a cab driver and must return to court in mid September to settle the lawsuit. Patrick Kane anyone?
Cousin Brody was drafted by the Hurricanes in the 7th round of the 2011 NHL Draft and he became the third, second generation Sutter to suit up in a Carolina jersey.
Their fathers would be proud for keeping the Sutter name alive and active in the NHL. Though I bet Darryl Sutter would’ve been more pleased had his son not punched a cab driver. That seems to be the only negative spot of the Sutter name.