Brandon Sutter Unavailable For Start of Season

Brandon Sutter
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Veteran forward Brandon Sutter will be unavailable to start the season for the Vancouver Canucks. The news was shared by general manager Jim Benning earlier today. Sutter has been battling a shoulder injury since the end of last season and is still dealing with fatigue.

Brandon Sutter Unavailable For Canucks

Sutter played in a majority of the Canucks’ games last season until his shoulder injury prevented him from playing. In those 43 games, he put up 12 points (nine goals and three assists). He averaged over 15 minutes of ice time per game and won 55.5% of his draws. His advanced numbers tell a poor story, however. Only a 39.4% Corsi For and a miserable -10.3 relative Corsi clearly show that Sutter was not very beneficial for the Canucks. In his long, 13-year career, Sutter has played in exactly 770 games, scored 152 times, and dished out 137 assists for 289 points. He’s also spent 149 minutes in the box of shame.

How the Canucks Adjust

The Canucks have plenty of top-line talent to make up for the loss of Brandon Sutter. However, their third and fourth lines look shaky. Former Chicago Blackhawks player Matthew Highmore can slide around and play nearly anywhere in the lineup. Tyler Motte can play into the third-line center position if needed and take over Sutter’s role. But outside of those two, there aren’t many experienced or solid players that can fill that hole. Sure, Nils Hoglander has been fantastic for the Canucks, but he’s inexperienced and can’t lead a line by himself yet. Maybe Jason Dickinson can slide into a center position with Highmore on his side. That’s not the greatest third line ever, but it’s solid enough to keep pucks out of the back of the net. It will be interesting to see how head coach Travis Green decides to adjust his lines as the season opener approaches.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images