Monday, November 19, 2007

Brian Sutherby to Anaheim

Canadian Press is reporting that the Capitals have dealt Brian Sutherby to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2nd round pick in the 2009 entry draft.

A move had to be made to accommodate the return of Alexander Semin to the Capitals' lineup. This comes as something as perhaps a mild surprise, and in a way it isn't, either.

Sutherby -- the 26th overall pick in the 2000 draft -- was pegged early on as a potential captain for the Caps. He gave an indication early on that the vision for him was achievable, winning the most valuable player in the 2003 Young Stars game held during All Star game festivities that year.

But Sutherby was bitten by the injury bug, splitting only 36 games between Washington and Portland of the AHL the following year, and playing only 53 games in Portland in 2004-2005 during the NHL lockout.

He was healthy for the 2005-2006 season and put up his best offensive numbers in his NHL career: 14-16-30 in 76 games. However, last year he regressed, amassing barely half the points he registered the previous year. This year, it was clear he did not figure in the club's long term plans any longer, playing only five games and registering a single goal.

From a young star once billed as a "bigger Michael Peca," he leaves the Capitals struggling to find playing time. In that respect the move is not a surprise. If one looks at the Capitals' forwards, he has been passed among the checking forwards by Boyd Gordon, David Steckel, and Brooks Laich. As an energy forward, one might argue that even Chris Bourque was poised to pass him on the depth chart.

We hope Brian finds the success in Anaheim that he could not seem to find in Washington.

1 comment:

Jordan said...

There is a large contingent of Caps fans that are going to hate this move, but it seems a necessary one. Good observations, I agree with just about everything you wrote here.