Tracking the Storm

Sutter Headed to Albany Today

Wednesday, 02.25.2009 / 11:45 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Sutter Headed to Albany Today
Update: Official News Release

The Hurricanes will reassign rookie center Brandon Sutter to the Albany River Rats today, said General Manager Jim Rutherford.

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Sutter, who has been a healthy scratch for each of the team’s last four games, will go on a two-week conditioning stint that will not require him to clear waivers. After that period, he will return to the NHL.

“It’s just part of the development process,” said Rutherford. “He hasn’t played much lately, and he’ll get a lot of playing time there.”

Even when in the lineup, the 20-year-old first-round pick in 2007 only cracked the 10 minute mark in ice time twice since November 26. He played a season-low 2:36 on February 15 against Buffalo.

Rutherford said that this conditioning stint had little to do with how Sutter was performing in Carolina, and was instead designed simply to give him some playing time in order to aid his development. 

“I like Brandon Sutter a lot,” said Rutherford. “He’s one of our best penalty killers, he’s a very young man and it’s just a matter of his strength and development now as to where he gets to. I would like to think that this playing time in Albany and then playing here down the stretch will put him in a position to be in our top nine next year.”

Despite the team’s high long-term expectations for Sutter, Rutherford did acknowledge that players such as Tim Conboy and Michael Ryan, along with the impending return of Scott Walker, will make it tough for Sutter to break back into the regular forward rotation this season.

“It will depend on how [the conditioning stint] goes and that door may open for him, but I think it will be more difficult for him this year,” said Rutherford. “If he gets his playing time and comes back, continues to kill penalties and maybe gets a little more ice time here, that’s going to help our team.”

Sutter’s reassignment will come at a welcome time for Albany, which is dealing with numerous injuries after last week’s bus crash. Although all five passengers who were hospitalized have now been released, the River Rats still had to call in reinforcements from the ECHL ranks in order to dress the 20 skaters required for tonight’s game at Bridgeport.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72