The Hurricanes recalled Charlotte captain Brett Sutter on Monday morning, filling the void caused by a “week-to-week” injury to former Checker Zac Dalpe.
Sutter, who the Hurricanes brought up on an emergency basis as they were scheduled to have just 11 forwards for Tuesday’s game in Boston, may not have been the most obvious choice to those scanning box scores. The 24-year-old center, who will almost certainly play on the wing in Carolina, has yet to record a point in four games this season while the likes of Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk and Jerome Samson have done their job of filling the score sheet for the Checkers.
However, Sutter’s grinding style is an ideal fit for the Hurricanes’ current need. As strong and hard-working in the corners as they come with some penalty-killing upside to boot, his NHL future will likely be in that role as opposed to someone like Dalpe, who projects as a scoring forward despite his position on the fourth line to start the season.
The move will not necessitate an ECHL recall by Charlotte, which is left with 12 healthy forwards even after Sutter’s recall. Twenty-one-year-old Jared Staal, who has yet to make his season debut for the Checkers, would likely do so if Sutter is still in Carolina by the time Charlotte resumes play with a three-game set against Houston and Norfolk on Friday.
The Checkers would have to move a current winger to fill Sutter’s position down the middle, with Chris Durno having played at center in the preseason.
After their two-game weekend sweep of the visiting Peoria Rivermen, the Checkers are off Monday before resuming practice Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena.