After finding out he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, no one could blame Brandon Sutter for going into hiding. After all, he wasn’t expecting the trade, which sent center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Sutter, an 8th overall pick, and a prospect. But after letting the news settle over the weekend, he’s excited about becoming a Penguin, and (hopefully) play in a playoff game.
“I’m four years into my career now and I’m still yet to play in a playoff game,” Sutter said. “For me, I’m at a point now where it’s about winning. That’s what I want to be there for and I want to help with that.”
A defensive forward, Sutter was a key piece in Carolina’s penalty killing. But don’t compare him to Jordan Staal.
“I’m coming in to do what I’ve done,” said Sutter. “I’m my own player. I don’t feel like I’m here to replace anyone. Jordan’s a great player and playing against is player you want to be like. Hopefully one day I can try and find that level that he was at in terms of offensive numbers.”
However, Sutter is hoping for a bigger role on the Pens than the one he had with the Hurricanes.
“One thing I did mention to them was I felt there were times when I was stuck,” Sutter said. “They were always expecting me to be good defensively, which is fine, but in terms of offense, there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity. I think that comes with playing with different guys and maybe different chemistry. I think playing with maybe different players — on a roster that’s deeper than what we’re used to in Carolina — and a chance to maybe play with more talented players can help. I think for myself, I don’t want to be looked at as just a defensive player. I want to score goals and do things too.”
While Sutter admits he doesn’t really know any Penguins personally, he has already spoken to Ray Shero, coach Dan Bylsma, and Sidney Crosby. He also wants to get to know the city better before the season starts. My advice? Get someone like Geno to take you out on the town.
Fun fact: Sutter scored his first career goal against the Penguins, and his uncle, Rich Sutter, played 9 games with us in the early 80s.
I’ll admit, I was a little wary when I heard Sutter hadn’t talked to the media yet. I was not going to put up with a Jeff Carter on my team, but hearing him talk today has definitely warmed him up to me. No one can replace Jordan Staal to me, but it will be nice to see what Sutter can do for us.