Forward Brett Sutter has cleared waivers and will make his return to the Checkers.
With no other NHL teams submitting a claim for his services before noon Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes made his assignment to Charlotte official shortly thereafter. Due to his age (26) and experience (seven professional seasons), waivers were necessary in order for Sutter to join Charlotte, something the Hurricanes had put into motion one day earlier.
Sutter, who recorded no points and nine penalty minutes while filling fourth-line duty for 12 of Carolina’s 14 games, ranked second on the Checkers in scoring last season with 48 points (19g, 29a) in 70 games, shattering AHL career highs in each offensive category. Helping him top his previous high for most points in a season of 29, set just one year earlier, were three separate four-point outings that tied the franchise record for most points in a single game.
A Checker for most of the last three seasons since the Hurricanes acquired him in a trade with Calgary in November of 2010, Sutter ranks fifth all-time in games played (193), goals (41), assists (57) and points (98) with the AHL franchise. In 49 career NHL games, he registered five points (1g, 4a) and 36 penalty minutes.
The Checkers’ captain for each of the last two seasons, Sutter is likely to resume that role upon his return. The team had not named a captain for any of its first 10 games, with Nicolas Blanchard and Chris Terry each serving as alternates, just as they did last season.
A natural center who has also played extensively on the wing, Sutter fits an immediate need for the Checkers, who took a recent hit at the position when Sutter’s cousin Brody Sutter suffered an injury and Manny Malhotra joined the Hurricanes. Charlotte was only able to dress 11 forwards, including three centers, in Rockford on Wednesday, while Blanchard played out of position in the team’s most recent game on Saturday.