Vancouver Signs Sutter for Five Years Following Trade
Vancouver’s recent acquisition of former Pittsburgh center Brandon Sutter comes at a steep price but the Canucks’ brass believes he is well worth the money.
Sutter signed a five-year contract extension with the Canucks at an average annual value of $4.375 million per season. The 26-year-old was a pending unrestricted free agent before coming to terms with Vancouver.
“Acquiring Brandon Sutter, to me he’s a foundation piece for our group going forward,” Vancouver general manger Jim Benning told the media Tuesday after sending Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening to Pittsburgh in the trade for Sutter.
“He can play a good two-way game. He brings us speed. He goes to the net hard. I thought in the playoffs for Pittsburgh last year, he was really good. He’s a playoff player. When the games mean something, that’s when he’s at his best.”
The Canucks plan to use Sutter below Henrik Sedin as Vancouver’s second-line center. He also figures to allow 20-year-old Bo Horvat more time to develop as he serves as a veteran mentor for the young, promising hockey player.
“Bo Horvat, the last half the year, played really well for us,” Benning said. “We don’t want to put pressure on him to be somewhere in the lineup that he can’t handle it going forward. We want to make sure that he keeps developing as a player.”
Aside from the particulars of the deal, the Canucks acquired a third-round draft pick in 2016 from the Penguins. Pittsburgh obtained a 2016 second-round draft pick in return.
The centerpiece of the trade was the 6’3” and 190-pound Sutter who had 21 goals, 12 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 80 games. He finished with a team-leading 50.6 percent faceoff efficiency and tied for second in the NHL with four short-handed goals.
“Brandon’s a proven NHL player, match-up player,” Benning added. “He’s played against the other teams’ top players and shut them down. And he can still bring offense to our team.”
In his 495 career NHL games, Sutter has produced 98 goals, 87 assists and 94 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh and Carolina. He participated in 33 playoff games with the Penguins.
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