New Penguins center Brandon Sutter met with the local media today for the first time as a member of the Penguins.
He discussed is initial impressions of the Penguins, how he feels he'll be used by coaches and his famous hockey family.
At first, you were taken aback by the trade from the Hurricanes. Over a month later, how do you feel about the move?
"I’m really looking forward to it. At first, it’s tough. It’s the first time I’ve been traded. It was a place I was comfortable. It’s a whole new feel now. At first … it’s a little disappointing. Then you start thinking about, you move on. I’m definitely getting excited. I think once I meet the guys and start skating and stuff like that, it will be awesome. I’m getting really pumped."
How much interaction have you had with your new teammates?
"I’ve talked to a few guys. I just had a chance to meet (Matt Cooke) just now. Talked to a few guys on the phone and text messages and stuff like that. Everyone’s been real welcoming. Even Ray (Shero) and the all the staff have been great too. Just trying to get my feet down and feel my way around a bit."
How much do you know about the Penguins' style of play?
"It’s one that working pretty good for them. They’ve been a pretty good team for a couple of years now. They’re consistent every year. I haven’t had a chance to meet (Dan Bylsma) yet. But I’ve talked to him on the phone and he seems very optimistic about it. You get excited talking to him. The system obviously is an aggressive one. And that’s fun. That’s they way you want to play. You want to go after teams. You want to go after teams and try to create stuff. I’m looking forward to that."
Have you thought about how many offensive opportunities you might get with the Penguins compared to the Hurricanes?
"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."
Is your game similar to the one your father, Brent Sutter (right), and his brothers played when they were NHL players?
"I think everyone certainly makes it that way but I think every since I was drafted … from day one, I kind of said I want to be my own player. It doesn’t matter what your name is, you got to go out and do your job. But I do take pride in it. It’s obviously kind of a cool scenario with what my dad and uncles have done but I just go play my game. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a few guys I can call if I have any questions about anything."
You're uncle, Darryl Sutter, just won the Stanley Cup as coach of the Kings. Did you get to take part in his day with the Cup?
"No. We had it two days ago and I was on my way down here. I had a buddy who won it too. They were rubbing it in pretty good. Hopefully I can rub it back at him."
You played for your father with Red Deer of the WHL. What challenges or advantages did that present?
"I think it was actually pretty good. When I first went to junior there, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. It ended up working really well and I loved it. He was a good coach. Who know what he’ll do now but I’m sure he’ll be back in the business soon. Obviously I think that my strength. Intelligence on the ice. I just want to see the game and create stuff from that."
How much attention have you paid to free agency this past week, particularly in the Atlantic Division, with Rick Nash joining the Rangers and Shea Weber not joining the Flyers?
"That’s good (Weber). … Same as every year. Teams are trying to get better. It’s always been the toughest division I think. The Rangers, the Devils, the Flyers, even the Islanders now. I know last year, playing the Islanders, they beat us all four times and they were four of the toughest games I think we played all year. And they’re looked at as the weaker team."
Are you relieved you'll have to do a little less traveling in the Atlantic Division compared to the Southeast Division?
"That’s fine with me. Obviously with the team in Winipeg in the Southeast Division, a lot of travel. I think in the (Eastern Conference), no matter where you are, you’re pretty much set for travel (Pittsburgh) is very central so that’s fine for me."
How dificult was the trade off the ice?
"Thankfully I was still renting all my furniture and stuff."
Your current contract expires in two years and you'll be a restricted free agent when it does. Are you expecting to be with the Penguins for quite a few seasons?
"I think we’ll worry about that when the time comes. I think right now, I’m just worry about getting settled and comfortable here. No one wants to be traded. It’s a tough thing to go through. It doesn’t matter who you are. But once you get past it and get excited about it, it’s funny how you’re mind changes."
Have you paid much attention to the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA for a new collective bargaining agreement?
"I’ve tried to. I’ve been to meetings two summers ago and kind of know a little bit of how it all works and stuff like that. There’s a lot of stuff involved with it. I don’t think anyone like the proposal that we got. But they’ll work at it. That was kind of expected. Hopefully we start on time and if we do, that’ll be great because I’m getting anxious to get going."
(Photos: Brandon Sutter-Marianne Helm/Getty Images; Brent Sutter-Glenn Cratty /Allsport)