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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Sutter Headed to Albany Today

Wednesday, 02.25.2009 / 11:45 AM / 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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 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