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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Sutter: His Spot to Lose

Monday, 09.08.2008 / 9:45 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Sutter: His Spot to Lose

A quick glance at our online depth chart * shows that there aren’t a ton of spots up for grabs on the Hurricanes roster this year.  Established veterans abound through both the forward and defensive ranks, except for one notable slot centering the fourth line.

Index | Archive

Brandon Sutter, the team’s first-round pick (11th overall) in 2007, is currently penciled in for that role even though he has one remaining year of junior eligibility.  If the proves to be ready, as the Hurricanes believe he is, he’ll spend next season in Raleigh rather than Red Deer.

Canes GM Jim Rutherford, who seemed very high on Sutter in a recent interview, said the job was basically his to lose going into camp.

”I don’t know if lose is the right word, I guess that is the proper way to say it, but it’s really going to be more about is he ready for a long, grinding season,” said Rutherford.  

When this offseason began, he hadn’t put on much weight simply because he was playing so much hockey.  As the star player on a Red Deer team that finished 18-47-7 a year ago, good for dead last in their conference, he logged a ton of ice time, which caused him to lose weight just as fast as he put it on.  That’s not even mentioning the Canada/Russia Super Series a year ago and the World Junior Championships last January.

Sutter Archive
- Hurricanes Pick Sutter in First Round
- Sutter in Camp after Super Summer
- WHL Prospect Report with Ron Francis
- Sutter Enjoying Possibly Brief AHL Career

This summer, the Canes basically told him to stay at home and stuff his face in the hopes that he’d be able to retain some weight and be ready for the long season.

“He’s got great hockey sense, he understands the game and now it’s just a matter of, at this young of an age, if he’s ready to step in and play 82 games in the NHL,” said Rutherford.

While Coach Laviolette won’t know exactly how to use Sutter until camp is well underway, the Canes are fine with him starting on the fourth line in a more defensive role due to his excellent understanding of the game.  From there, Rutherford imagines that he would be the first player to step up on a scoring line to replace an injured player.

“We feel very confident in his mental toughness and his hockey sense,” said Rutherford.  “He’s a very, very good penalty killer.  Is he ready to do it at this level yet?  Time will tell.  If he steps up and does more than we expect, I’m sure the coach will reward him with more ice time.

”There will be a lot of opportunity for him, he just has to be ready for it,” added Rutherford.  “He’s got a really good future ahead of him.”

* A quick note about the depth chart – those line combinations are in no way set in stone, and are pretty much just the best guess of someone who closely follows the team (me).

I’ve seen a lot of articles in national publications recently that present those combinations as though they’ll be in effect all year in their season previews, but it is still way too early to tell.  I’ll keep the chart updated as combinations change throughout the season, but for now they are just for casual reference.  Feel free to play with it yourself and come up with your own combinations.  Have it out in our forums to see who can come up with the best one.

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45