Tracking the Storm

Canes Stocking up on Sutters

Friday, 07.15.2011 / 10:48 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Stocking up on Sutters

It would seem as though the race is on between two famous hockey families in the Hurricanes organization.

Paul Branecky
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The team’s seventh-round selection of forward Brody Sutter in this summer’s draft gives it the rights to three Sutters, with cousins Brandon and Brett already in the fold. All three are the sons of former NHL players, with the previous generation of the family featuring six brothers who spent significant time in the league.

Brody’s addition to Team Sutter breaks an internal deadlock with Team Staal, which boasts two players in brothers Eric and Jared.

“Once we got two Staals, I guess they figured we needed three Sutters,” said a chuckling Brandon Sutter.

While Brandon Sutter and Eric Staal are clearly established in core leadership roles in the current Hurricanes team, their still-developing relatives are still working towards that goal. In the case of the Sutters, a scenario in which the similarly-named trio play on the same team could cause some significant headaches.

“It would be a nightmare for Chuck Kaiton,” said Brandon.

“I’m not sure what they’d do with the nameplates,” said Brody.

The Canes’ addition of Brody, who was in town to attend the teams’ conditioning camp this week, came as something of a surprise to the Sutter family. Brody, 19, was one round away from making it through his second year of draft eligibility with no takers. He did attend the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp and the Florida Panthers’ main training camp last summer, but neither team offered him a contract.

That made his eventual selection even sweeter, particularly when his family discovered his new destination.

“I was really excited,” said Brody. “(Brandon, Brett and I) grew up playing street hockey together in the summer and would all pretend to be on the same line.”

“It was pretty funny,” said Brandon. “After the draft my mom called and asked me if I had heard about Brody. I was excited and asking where he went, and when she told me Carolina I just started laughing.”

At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Brody is the most imposing physical presence of the three cousins. That alone was probably enough for teams to give him a look last season, but his greatly increased scoring totals – he notched 42 points (18g, 24a) in 46 games for the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes last season, up from 14 points in 72 contests the season prior – indicate he has skills to match his size.

“Because I had a good year and I’m a big guy, I thought someone might want to take a chance on me,” said Brody of his expectations going into this year’s draft. “Last year I got an opportunity to play an offensive role with good players instead of being slapped on the third line, so that helped.

“I don’t think it’s bad that I got picked up in the second year, because I ended up in a better situation.”

Brody Sutter will continue to develop in Lethbridge next season, meaning that the three cousins will likely start on different teams once again. Brett, a 24-year-old restricted free agent, is expected to sign another two-way deal with the Hurricanes this summer that will likely see him begin the year with the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers.

However, with some hard work and a little luck, the three could eventually be reunited, much as they were as kids growing up in Alberta.

“Hopefully we get to the point where we can all play together,” said Brandon. “For now, we’ll wait for that to happen and worry about the nicknames later.”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 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