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Tracking the Storm

Sutter May Move to Wing

Monday, 10.26.2009 / 1:05 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Sutter May Move to Wing
Coach Paul Maurice said that Brandon Sutter’s NHL future may not lie exclusively at center, a position he’s played for the bulk of his career up until this point.

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Although the coach said that Sutter did a good job in his first NHL game of the season on Saturday, he would prefer to have Jussi Jokinen centering the third line on a more long-term basis.

”He can play all three positions and were comfortable with that in the short term,” said Maurice of Jokinen. “But when we’ve moved him to the middle of the ice, the few times this year that it’s happened, he’s played very, very well.”

Depending on what happens with Stephane Yelle in the coming days, whether it’s a reassignment, a waiver claim by another team or nothing at all, there could be space for Sutter to center the fourth line as early as Wednesday. Or, he may play on the wing, an experiment carried out for one practice last season but never since.

”I think Brandon Sutter is a guy that can play more than one position,” said Maurice. “I think he’s going to need to if he ends up playing the fourth-line role now or three years from now. He’s going to need more ice time than just that. In order to do that, he’s got to play more than one position and get out of the middle.

“We may move him around,” Maurice continued. “I don’t think we’ll lose anything immediately in doing that, but we may gain something down the road with him having experienced another position.”

Sutter had a hectic weekend, first playing for Albany on Friday night before experiencing weather-related flight setbacks on his way to Minneapolis/St.  Paul.

“I had some delays, and then I pulled in about half an hour before warm ups," he said.  "It was a long day, but I just battled through it, came to the rink, went and played a game.”

It didn’t help that he was using another player’s sticks since his didn’t arrive in time, or that he received a high stick to the face on his very first shift, leaving him with a clear diagonal mark underneath his left eye.

“Welcome back,” said Sutter. “It woke me up a little bit, so it was probably good for me.”

Sounds a little bit like what happened to Tuomo Ruutu in his Hurricanes debut, although Sutter’s injury wasn’t quite as gruesome.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62