Brandon Sutter Returns to Vancouver Canucks

Brandon Sutter was re-signed by the Vancouver Canucks at the start of the free agent period. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports it’s a one-year deal, but terms are not disclosed at this time.

Brandon Sutter Moved

In Brandon Sutter, the Canucks keep around a veteran centre who can also spend time on the wing. His speed and shot have diminished over time, but he can still surprise defenders while short-handed. The 6’3″ Sutter is primarily a defensive forward, averaging over 2:30 shorthanded per game this season. He’s also been dominant in the circle, winning around 55% of his draws.

He got nine goals and three assists in 43 games this season with the team. The Carolina Hurricanes originally took him 11th overall in the 2007 NHL Draft.

A Rocky Start

Sutter originally came to Vancouver in 2015 with a third-round pick for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendenning, and a second-rounder. Shortly after, he signed a five-year extension, with Canucks GM Jim Benning calling him a “foundation piece” for them. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just 20 games in his first year. Injuries have continued to hamper Sutter’s ice time, playing 61, 26, and 44 games over the last three seasons. Combined with his $4.375 million per year deal he has been a lightning rod for fan criticism, both of him and of Benning.

Sutter did score his first career hat trick on January 25th this year against the Ottawa Senators. But scoring is not what he’s being acquired for. The 13-year veteran has been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs four times, playing 50 total games. He scored one goal and six points in 17 games for Vancouver in the Edmonton “playoff bubble” including the qualifying round.

What This Means For The Future

Sutter was rumoured to be moved at the deadline, but that didn’t happen. The odds of him being re-signed by the Canucks were minimal in any case, but he’s coming back on a short-term deal. He is hoping to rebound after some shaky seasons in the Pacific Northwest.

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