Stars acquire Brian Sutherby

Jonathan Willis
December 14 2008 04:43PM

According to TSN.ca the Dallas Stars have acquired forward Brian Sutherby from the Anaheim Ducks, sending back the NHL rights to David McIntyre and a conditional draft pick. Sutherby is in the final season of a deal with a $700K cap hit.

McIntyre is a middling prospect -- he was a fifth round pick in 2006, and has a reputation as an excellent skater with good hands and a willingness to play a gritty game. He had 32 points in 39 games for Colgate University last season, and leads the team this year with 12 points in 14 games. The best Oilers’ comparable is probably Bryan Lerg, who is a little smaller but has very similar scouting reports and better offensive totals.

The interesting player in this deal is Brian Sutherby. Sutherby’s generally listed as a centre, but he’s spent quite a bit of time on the wing the last couple of seasons in Anaheim. Sutherby’s 6’3” and 215lbs, and this season has six points in 17 games. He’s been hot and cold on offence for the last few years -- in 2005-06 he scored 30 points in 76 games, while last season he had two points in 50 games.

Here are some of the key stats for Sutherby:

Time On Ice: 5:46 EV, 1:16 SH

RTSS: 10.6 Hits/60, 48.9 FO%

Penalties: 3 majors, 2 minors

Outshooting: 74 shots for, 81 shots against

Behind the Net Even-Strength: 4.29 PTS/60, 4.90 GFON/60, 1.23 GAON/60

On top of all that, Sutherby’s benefiting from some ridiculously good numbers at even-strength (.958 on-ice save percentage, 16.3 on-ice shooting percentage). The shooting percentage number in particular is the best on the team; no matter how good a season Sutherby’s having, he isn’t an equal to guys like Getzlaf and Perry, so it seems reasonable to say that it isn’t likely to continue.

Sutherby’s penalty-killing numbers this year are the worst among regular Ducks forwards, while last year they were the best, so he’s likely an OK penalty-killer; given that he’s only averaging just over a minute short-handed a few goals against would inflate his numbers beyond where they would likely settle over the course of a full season.

Other than that, Sutherby’s numbers are inflated by where he’s being played (his ratio of offensive zone to defensive zone face-offs is a very amicable 3:2), and he brings a lot to the table physically, both fighting and hitting with abandon. Basically, if somebody were to give you a can labeled “NHL fourth-Liner”, Brian Sutherby would be inside of it.

The Oilers could handle that kind of gift right now -- the fourth line has been a problem for most of the year, and Marc Pouliot could probably use some better support than Tim Sestito, Jesse Boulerice and (shudder) Ladislav Smid. Based on this trade today, the cost is probably a mid-range draft pick or one of the three hundred interchangeable offensive prospects the Oilers have in the system; in other words, availability probably isn’t what’s keeping them from making a trade. Heck, Chris Gratton could be had for the price of a plane ticket to bring him here. That really leaves two reasonable scenarios in my mind:

  1. The Oilers’ brass don’t see a need for an end-of-roster player
  2. They’re setting their sights a little higher (read: third line centre who can take face-offs and play a physical game)

Given where the penalty-killing is sitting this season, I’d bet on the latter.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 RobinB
December 14 2008, 04:51PM
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Jonathan: That's a great gag mugshot with your bio. Looks like something from Dial-A-Nerd or Simpletons R-Us. Who is that goof, really?

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#2 Jonathan Willis
December 14 2008, 05:00PM
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I've seen your mug-shot, Brownlee. Glass houses, and all that.

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#3 RobinB
December 14 2008, 05:22PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: If you've been paying attention, you know I'm pretty quick to run myself before anybody else does.

While I won't be on the cover of GQ anytime soon, my time-worn mug, battle scars and eye bags won't get me mistaken for the supervisor of the Edmonton region Geek Squad or a 17-year-old Bob Layton.

Good Lord, Jon, is that a real mugshot of you?

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#4 Jonathan Willis
December 14 2008, 05:32PM
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@ RobinB:

Did you give your login info to JS&BM?

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#5 Jonathan Willis
December 14 2008, 06:06PM
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@ RobinB:

Although admittedly, it's a pretty bad photo.

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#6 jeanshorts
December 14 2008, 09:20PM
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I see Brownlee is in the Christmas spirit already.

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#7 David S
December 14 2008, 09:31PM
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"...or a 17-year-old Bob Layton."

The resemblance is uncanny. Bah-ha!

I'd agree with you Jonathan on the sentiment that the team is setting their sights higher. It fits the Katz M.O. My gut tells me that if we're in the mix a month from now, something big is gonna happen.

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#8 CapsFanatic
December 14 2008, 09:40PM
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Sutherby, was awesome when he played in Washington. I wish we never let him go. I think this move to Dallas will be good for him and you will see the resurection of his 30 point season going forward.

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#9 OviOne
December 14 2008, 10:59PM
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Good luck in Dallas Suts

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#10 David Staples
December 15 2008, 12:14AM
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Ah, the mug shot.

The bane of all writers since the invention of the printing press.

And I thought that Liam Reddox looked about 12-years-old in his mug shot . . . .

I will say this, you're awfully wise for a guy in Grade Eight, Jonathan.

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#11 JackBauer
December 15 2008, 12:48AM
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I think you make a great point Willis, except the fact that Anahiem wont trade with us if the life of the franchise dependended on it.

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#12 atastypie
December 15 2008, 01:05AM
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The only guys talking trash about the mugshot are the journalists... ?

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#13 RBK
December 15 2008, 08:17AM
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Sutherby was the leading scorer early this year for the Ducks and yet was sat. That makes no sense.

The burns flying around in here? That makes no sense either. This must be some sort of hazing ritual for Willis with the 'real' writers. I see Wanye is having no part of the chatter and his picture is a middle finger on fire.

PRO

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#14 charlie
December 15 2008, 08:37AM
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Sutherby rhymes with butterbean, which rhymes with flutter flea, sorta, which also rhymes with gunder gee which rhymes with...wait for it...WHO CARES??!! Laugh out quiet...loq? My hope is that this was just a joke because it's about a Duck, and no one in LA or pardon me Anaheim gives a phack(sorry kids, but if you're reading this put down your mini-hockey stick and talk to a girl, also if you're here than you really enjoy the internet and I'm sure you've seen something worse than Phack, for instance,http://www.flamescentral.com/, which is a stunning example of non-heterosexu... ask your teacher... ) ok, it's way too late for adult beverages. That and Smid is a beauty that I bet could beat me down in a bar,HOWEVER, i could definitely beat him in flip cup, beer pong, and walk off's. Big time.

Happy holidays Nation.

Charlie (not the douche from Pitts)

PS, in 5 or6 weeks it's GRETZMAS. January 27th. By that point I may be on Faces of the Na She On. Be prepared. For what? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Ooooooo. But it will involve pregnancies.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
December 15 2008, 09:29AM
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CapsFanatic wrote:

Sutherby, was awesome when he played in Washington. I wish we never let him go. I think this move to Dallas will be good for him and you will see the resurection of his 30 point season going forward.

I've always really liked Sutherby - I was shocked when he got traded to the Ducks. It would be nice for Dallas if he could bounce back to a third line forward with offensive presence - certainly he'll get a better opportunity there than he did with the Ducks.

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#16 Jonathan Willis
December 15 2008, 09:30AM
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JackBauer wrote:

I think you make a great point Willis, except the fact that Anahiem wont trade with us if the life of the franchise dependended on it.

I don't know - Burke isn't the GM in Anaheim, and we've been told that Kevin Lowe is no longer the GM in Edmonton, so that barrier should theoretically be gone.

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#17 JackBauer
December 15 2008, 11:18AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Yeah but if we suspect Lowe is still the man pulling the strings, people who are in the "know" working in the front offices would know a lot more. And I cant imagine Burke was the sole and only man in Anahiem calling for Lowes head on a platter after that. Burkes influence runs deep and im sure Bob Murray has some opinions on the whole Penner deal.

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#18 Ender the Dragon
December 15 2008, 01:44PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

That really leaves two reasonable scenarios in my mind: The Oilers’ brass don’t see a need for an end-of-roster player They’re setting their sights a little higher (read: third line centre who can take face-offs and play a physical game) Given where the penalty-killing is sitting this season, I’d bet on the latter.

If the Oilers do a deal, Katz is bringing in a brand-name. Either it will be an upgrade (ie. second-line guy leaves, better second-line guy comes in)or it will be a straight-out purchase where we bring in a top-6 guy using the last of our cap-room (and probably dumping a goalie)and everyone on the third and fourth lines moves down one chair. Neither Katz or K-Lowe are brazen enough to ignite the firestorm of protest that would come with the acquisition of a fourth-line grinder. I think most people in Edmonton believe that more is required to get this team back on track, and while K-Lowe & Co. most likely agree, they would probably worry about the PR and fans not understanding that they have other irons in the fire. To avoid all that unpleasantness, I say the big deal happens before any of the minor moves.

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#19 Jonathan Willis
December 15 2008, 01:48PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

I'd suggest that the Rangers would be the likely trading partner - Sundin's (allegedly) poised to make a decision before the Dec. 19 roster freeze, and if Sather's serious about picking him up, he might be willing to send a decent player to his favourite GM.

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#20 Ender the Dragon
December 15 2008, 02:29PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

You mean Sather's favorite President of Hockey Operations, Right? ;)

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#21 Jonathan Willis
December 15 2008, 02:42PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

But of course :) I took a look at the Rangers roster, and I'm not seeing anyone that jumps out at me. I have no idea how they're going to clear space for Sundin since a) he presumably wants to play with Naslund b) Gomez, Drury, Redden and Roszival are signed long-term at massive dollar amounts and c) Petr Prucha's like Robert Nilsson except smaller and less effective.

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#22 Ender the Dragon
December 15 2008, 03:52PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: The only Ranger I'd want is Zherdev, but I looked at his production and his salary. There's no way at all that Sather moves him; we haven't got anything to offer that they'd take in return. I'd say your assessment is on-target; the only way Edmonton sees any action from a potential Sundin NYR signing is as a part of an NHL ménage à trois, and that's as unlikely as a Wayne Gretz ménage à trois.

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