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Brandon Sutter gets unenviable job of replacing Jordan Staal

Jul 25, 2012, 1:19 PM EDT

Brandon Sutter - Penguins

Newest Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Sutter met the press today at CONSOL Energy Center, donning the black and gold for the first time. Sutter has the task of taking the place of Jordan Staal after their draft day trade for each other, a tall order to say the least.

Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette caught up with Sutter to find out what he expects his role to be with the Penguins.

“I think where I was before, I liked my role there and I feel it’s going to be kind of similar here. I think at the same time, there was times where I didn’t get very much offensive opportunity at all. There was no power play, no nothing ever. Which is fine if you’re winning. But when you’re not winning, that can be kind of frustrating I guess. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Dan about that yet but I think it’s going to be clear what I’m going to be doing.”

What he’ll be doing is holding the fort down on the Pens’ third line. Getting the opportunity to play the power play shouldn’t be too hard as Dan Bylsma will load up his first unit with both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Filling Staal’s shoes will be hard, but he might just be better suited for the role than Staal was. Sutter has played the third line role in Carolina whereas Staal was a top six player having to play the third line because there were better guys ahead of him.

(Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins)

  1. malkinrulez - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Pens third line won’t miss a beat with this kid! He also could be the net front presence on pp pens have been lacking!

  2. earlcpeacock - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    its refreshing to have all these franchise stories clustered together! hell of a job yerdon! im going to celebrate today by eating a bowl of campbells chunky soup with extra meat tonight! SCA

  3. jacketsfan7 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Welcome to Pittsburgh sutter , I love your enthusiasm and energy

  4. ray2013 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I was impressed with the trade that brought Sutter to Pittsburgh. Sutter is a solid third-line center who play that role at an elite level for years to come. But third-line center was not an area of weakness for the Pens last year; defence and goaltending was.

    I enjoyed their first round series; it isn’t every day that hockey looks so close to lacrosse with the high scoring and general violence. But it was an obvious area of weakness that hasn’t been corrected.

  5. herbiecane - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Of course it’s great to have Jordan Staal in Carolina.

    But losing this guy hurts. Sutter has a ton of skill, speed, and “hockey IQ”. Plus he’s a class act. It’ll sting watching him blow up in Pittsburgh.

    Hats off to your GM, Pens Fan. Getting Sutter, the #8 pick, AND our big defensive prospect (who was only +90 in three years at Boston College)…..we got owned in a trade we supposedly had “all the leverage” in.

    One of everybody’s favorites down here. We’ll miss him. You’ll love the kid.

    • ray2013 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I don’t think you guys got owned in this trade. The Oilers had #1 overall, and I heard a lot of Edmonton commentators say they’d trade the #1 overall and a player/prospect to the Pens for Staal if they could guarantee he’d re-sign in Edmonton. The price for Staal would have been pretty high on the open market. And rather than lowball the hell out of the Pens, they offered close to fair value, rather than let it run on and on like Nash or Luongo’s situation. I thought both teams handled it pretty well.

      • herbiecane - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        That’s a very good point.

        But I think after a year or two, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

      • ray2013 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        Well you can’t ever really judge a trade for a couple of years. Staal could light it up as a number 1 center. Those dmen prospects could become all-stars, or become Cam Barker. But right now the trade looks good.

      • odj810 - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        i think it was a good trade on both ends. Pen’s got a good haul and hurricanes got staal for 10 years. I think it worked out for both franchises.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      I would agree with the fan of the lesser Alberta team, I think the Canes did pretty well in this trade, I think it’s a case where both teams got good value and exactly what they wanted.

      • ray2013 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        Listening to sports radio stations on Edmonton radio doesn’t make me an Oiler fan. I’m a hockey fan. I just happen to live near there.

  6. mattj2524 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Hey, as a Philly fan, I didn’t like this deal because it brought a solid replacement for Staal to the Pitt 3rd line and allowed for a lessened cap hit from 4 to 2 and change. Great front office move.

    But to say that the 3rd line won’t skip a beat?? That’s would be like me trying act like missing on the offer sheet with Weber didn’t hurt. Sutter’s a nice player, but don’t lie to yourselves and act like losing Staal doesn’t matter and won’t hurt you in the least.

  7. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    can someone please explain to me why this trade even happened??? why in the world would carolina give so much up for someone who would’ve just walked over to their team next year?? if jordan staal wanted to play in carolina, he could’ve done so easily next off season? why give up such valuable assets? is jordan staal going to bring the stanley cup the carolina THIS YEAR??? stupid, stupid, stupid move by the canes…

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