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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 69 21 28 -11 49
J. Faulk 74 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 73 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 69 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 72 11 20 -11 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 70 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 74 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 46 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 38 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62