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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81