Edmonton Oilers sign Brandon Sutter, who missed the last two seasons with long COVID, to professional tryout
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers will reportedly be bringing 13-year NHL veteran Brandon Sutter to training camp on a professional tryout, 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer reported Tuesday night.
Sutter, 34, hasn’t played in a game since May 2021, stands at 6’3, 190 lbs. and has 770 NHL games under his belt with the Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and most recently, the Vancouver Canucks.
The 2020-21 campaign marked the final season of a five-year, $4.375-million AAV deal he had inked with the Canucks, who resigned him to a one-year deal for the 2021-22 season. Sutter, however, missed the year and has been recovering from long COVID.
In March, Sutter spoke with Vancouver’s Donnie and Dhali – The Team, where he detailed his two-year battle with the virus.
“Yeah it’s finally improving,” Sutter said. “Finally starting to feel better, making some progress. It’s been a long road for sure, got to learn more about my immune system than I ever thought I would, but I’m starting to see some light in the tunnel for sure and just becoming a good dad again and starting to come around for sure.
“Day to day now, I’m back to working out again, which feels good because for the longest time I couldn’t do much for training or skating or nothing. So I’ve been working out and I’ve been skating with the Rebels in Red Deer again here, so I’m just trying to kind of keep my body going… I’m not sure if I’ll get back playing or not, but I’m at least going to give myself a chance and I’m hopeful to give it another try in the fall if I can.
“But again, like I said, it’s nice being back to just feeling better. I still got some work to do. I’m not quite normal yet, but it’s nice to be a normal dad, a normal guy again, and I can kind of get through the day-to-day stuff without too much difficulty.”
Sutter also spoke about how in March 2021, the whole team had contracted COVID and it brought their season to a screeching halt. He ended up returning for eight games through the rest of the season, and told Donnie and Dhali how he was hoping to land a PTO with a club.
“Coming into next year, who knows? I really don’t know,” Sutter said, adding his hope is to just be healthy again. “I think, at that point, the best case for me, if it’s with a team, would be to just do a PTO or tryout. At least I’d know if I put myself through it and see how it goes, because I doubt there’ll be anything else happening other than that.”
It’s safe to assume that Sutter’s mindset has remained the same heading into this opportunity with the Oilers, and it appears to be just that. Sutter isn’t the only player who has dealt with long COVID issues, as current free agent Jonathan Toews has been dealing with his own share of complications from the virus.
Sutter, meanwhile, was drafted by the Hurricanes 11th overall in the 2007 draft, and broke in with the team in 2008. He spent four years there before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Jordan Staal deal. Three years later, he was on the move to Vancouver.
Over his 770 game career he’s scored 152 goals and 289 points with his best offensive season coming in his second year, where he scored 40 points in 72 games. Sutter has always been a strong penalty killer with moderate defensive results at even-strength over his career.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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