January 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) skates in on goal during the shoot-out period of the Penguins intrasquad scrimmage at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Could Brandon Sutter Return to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015 NHL Free Agency?

The Carolina Hurricanes drafted Brandon Sutter with the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. At the time, the team hoped that Sutter would be a cornerstone in the franchise’s future.

Five years later, the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins made a big draft day trade that sent Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin, and the 8th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft to Pittsburgh in exchange for Jordan Staal.

That trade happened over two years ago. Brandon Sutter is now a Restricted Free Agent. He has yet to agree to terms on a new deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it is expected that he will not take anything that is not a one-year deal.

In early July, the Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly offered him a long-term contract. Since then, the Pens have offered Brandon Sutter three contract offers, and the 25-year-old center has rejected every offer, per reports.

Brandon Sutter is seeking a one-year deal, which would make him an unrestricted free agent next summer. Could he be eyeing a return to the Carolina Hurricanes?

Statistically, Brandon Sutter has had his best seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. He posted 14+ goals in every season from 2009-2012 in Carolina. He has yet to top 14 goals in a season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Back in late June, Brandon Sutter told Haydn Fleury, Carolina’s 7th overall pick in the 2014 Draft, that he loved the city of Raleigh, and that he’d return and play “any minute”.

All evidence shows that a Brandon Sutter return to Raleigh is not only possible, but maybe even likely.

The return of Brandon Sutter should be encouraged by the Carolina Hurricanes. He could fit in perfectly as the team’s third-line center. The Canes could also put Eric Staal on the wing in order to put Sutter in a top-six role.

 

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