You can hardly blame fans in Vancouver for not having forward Brandon Sutter at the forefront of their minds when it comes to looking forward to next season, but he may play a pivotal role if this team is hoping to make any kind of run this season.
The National Post's Ian McInyre described Sutter as the organizations third big addition of the summer, behind of course the additions of both former Bruins forward Loui Eriksson as well as defenseman Erik Gudbransson, Of course Sutter wasn't added this summer, but the fact that he only played 20 games before a season ending injury may make it feel that way to some fans.
Sutter, a natural center, was a core member of the Pittsburgh Penguins line up down the middle in the two seasons prior to joining the Canucks, and the hope is he would immediately fill a similar role in Vancouver, relieving some of the pressure on some of the organizations aging centers.
It may now be a year late, but Sutter is hoping he can live up to those expectations coming into this season, and it sounds like all the doubters have lit a fire under him, something he addressed in his recent comments.
“If people are picking us for the bottom, that’s perfect for us,” Sutter said as per the National Post. “That’s great. Our expectations in the dressing room are very different.
“I think we’ve got a core group that looks at last season and thinks we’re very underrated coming into this year. You start with Hank and Danny and look down the list and there’s eight of 10 of us with experience who can play at a high level, and we’re all two-way players. Especially at forward, we’re all two-way guys.
We'll find out just one month from now.