Tag:Brandon Sutter
Posted on: December 26, 2011 10:23 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 12:50 am

'Canes goalie Cam Ward records first career goal

By Brian Stubits

Goalie goals are rare. They are so rare that when Cam Ward scored one on Monday night, he was the first goaltender of the Carolina Hurricanes to do so. He also became the first goalie in almost six years to score in an NHL game, going back to Chris Mason in April of 2006.

That's what makes them great. Well, at least Ron Hextall's were great. Ward’s was only great in the rarity sense.

With the Hurricanes ahead in the game 3-2 in the waning moments, New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer pulled his goalie, leaving the cage unattended at the other end. That's when an errant pass from Ilya Kovalchuk to the point slipped out of the zone and all the way down the ice into the open net.

Originally, the goal was credited to the Hurricanes' Brandon Sutter as he came incredibly close to grazing the puck on its way by. But after the game both Sutter and Kovalchuk said Sutter didn't alter the pass, that meant the last Hurricane to touch the puck gets credit for the goal, and that's Cam Ward.

"It was Wardo's. As soon as it went in, I think we all knew it was his," Sutter said. "And then the ref kind of came up to me and asked what happened. He asked who touched it last, and it was [Ward]."

As we said, not spectacular. It's more likely to end up on the blooper reels than highlight reels. But it's still awesome.

"It would have been a lot cooler if I had shot the puck or did something like that," Ward said

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 7:33 pm

Hurricanes sign Brandon Sutter for 3 years

BrandonSutterBy: Adam Gretz

The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms with their only remaining restricted free agent on Wednesday (and in the process reached the league-mandated salary floor -- hallelujah!) by signing Brandon Sutter to a three-year, $6.2 million contract, which comes out to an average of just over $2 million per season. According to the team, the deal will pay Sutter $1.5 million this upcoming season, $2 million the following year and $2.7 million in 2013-14.

Sutter, who doesn't turn 23 until February, played all 82 games this past season, scoring 14 goals and adding 15 assists, both of which were a slight decrease from his 2009-10 performance.

Is that a concern for the Hurricanes? Not really, at least not according to general manager Jim Rutherford, who called Sutter a "cornerstone" of the organization. Said Rutherford in a statement released by the team, “Brandon is one of the cornerstones of our franchise moving forward. He is an extremely intelligent player who can perform in all situations, and has already grown into a leadership position for the Hurricanes at a very young age.”

His offensive production may have seen a slight drop last year, but Sutter did find himself with some tough assignments while starting a lot of shifts in his own zone. Basically, he appeared to take on more of a defensive role. He played more shorthanded minutes than any other forward on the team, averaging nearly 2 1/2 minutes of shorthanded ice time per game. He was 27th among all forwards in the NHL in terms of shorthanded ice-time.

That shorthanded usage was an increase from the previous year which also coincided with a drop in his power play time, going from an average of 1 minute, 55 seconds per game on the man advantage in 2009-10, to only 46 seconds per game in 2010-11 (his power play point total dropped from 10 to three). That shift in roles could help explain, at least in part, the decreased production from one season to the next.

Simply put, it's not all about the offense for Sutter, who, as Rutherford accurately pointed out, is becoming a solid all-around player for Carolina.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 11:00 am

'Canes keep Pitkanen, face decisions with others

The players are flying off the free-agent market and the season hasn't even begun. You can add Joni Pitkanen to the list.

The Carolina Hurricanes locked up their young defenseman with a three-year contract at $4.5 million annually before he could test the open waters. The 28-year-old has spent the past three seasons in Raleigh with the 'Canes, scoring five goals with 30 assists last season.

"Joni has been a very important part of our defense as he plays in all situations," GM Jim Rutherford said. "He plays a lot of minutes, and is one of the top puck-movers in the league. We are very pleased that he wanted to return to the Hurricanes."

If he were to hit free agency, he was set to be one of the most coveted defensemen available. Instead, a rather bare market becomes even less inviting for the spenders.

"He's a guy that plays a ton of minutes in all situations, is a big, strong guy, and, if you look at the free agent list for defensemen, he was near the top of it," Rutherford said. "We thought he would want to test the market, but he really loves playing here and I really appreciate what he did to make that happen."

Also on Tuesday the Hurricanes re-signed Patrick Dwyer to a two-year deal.

They are the first of many decisions the Hurricanes have to make in the coming weeks. At this time, they have just five forwards under contract at the NHL level. Cory Stillman, Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Jussi Jokinen are all unrestricted free agents come Friday while Brandon Sutter is on the restricted list.

Rutherford, holding little back, said things aren't going well with LaRose, Cole or Jokinen.

"For Erik and Jussi, this is about money to them," Rutherford said. "I'll use the same quote that I always use this time of year. You have players who say the right thing publicly about wanting to stay, but what they forget to add is, 'Unless I can get more money somewhere else.'

"That may very well be what happens, and in that way I understand their position."

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com