“It was a long wait,” Sutter said. “It was a lot longer than I expected, for sure. I’m definitely eager and I’m just looking forward to getting into the first week or two of the season here.”
After months of waiting around for the season to start, Sutter will now be going full speed ahead in terms of adjusting to everything that comes with a trade – new teammates, coaches, facilities and living situation.
|Brandon Sutter skates at CONSOL Energy Center|
Though it’s an especially unique situation for Sutter, as this was the first career trade for the 23-year-old center, he’s already getting increasingly comfortable in his new surroundings. He got a chance to skate with his Penguins teammates back in September and met with the coaches about the systems and style of play during the summer, which has been a big help for the young forward.
“It’s starting to feel more and more comfortable,” he said. “I think it’s going to take a little bit of time, but everyone’s been welcoming. So far, so good.
“I’m here to play my game. This is a special group in the room. I’m glad to be part of that and hopefully for a long time. We’ll just take it day-by-day, but I’m here to play and I want to win. The guys here have been great helping me out with things. Hopefully, I can feel more and more at home every day.”
The Penguins are expecting a lot from Sutter in his first year with the team, as he should slot in as the third center behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin this season (with his linemates yet to be determined).
“Those are three really good NHL centers,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said after acquiring Sutter in June. “That’s the strength of our team. We’re looking to having Brandon be a big part of that group. It was pretty important to me in terms of building this team to have a young center like that to go with Crosby and Malkin. It makes our team a good team still and in the future moving forward.”
The role Sutter will have with the Penguins as a responsible two-way center that is strong on the penalty kill is one he’s familiar with, one he’s comfortable with and one he likes to play.
Though adjusting to a new club is never easy, it looks like Sutter will acclimate well with the Penguins. The hardest part may be breaking in his new Penguins gear.
“The first few drills I was really hurting,” he admitted after skating at CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday. “It’s new. You’ve got new equipment on and you’re on new ice, so it’s kind of an awkward feeling at first. But starting to feel more comfortable.”
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