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Sutter getting comfortable with Pens

| Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 8:20 p.m.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Carolina Hurricanes center Brandon Sutter (16) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Brandon Sutter missed his uncle's Stanley Cup party in Canada because he was driving to Pittsburgh.

He would like to have his own party with the Cup someday, and with the Penguins, Sutter thinks he'll have his chance.

The most significant piece in the return for center Jordan Staal during last month's blockbuster trade, Sutter admitted to having an unenthusiastic response to the deal. But his sentiments have changed.

“No one wants to be traded,” he said.

This week's visit to Western Pennsylvania, however, has cemented Sutter's notion that the trade may be precisely what his career needed.

The Penguins' new third-line center is delighted by his new surroundings.

“It's no secret that they've got a pretty special group here,” Sutter said. “I feel like I'm a part of that. I've played against this team enough. It's nice to be on the other side now.”

Sutter arrived in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and said his immediate impression of the city was positive.

Calling Consol Energy Center home is also something that Sutter finds favorable.

“Pretty cool facility for sure,” he said. “I'm definitely getting excited about it.”

Sutter said the organization has welcomed him warmly.

He met left wing Matt Cooke — a possible linemate when the season begins — Wednesday morning at Consol Energy Center. He's also had a number of conversations with coach Dan Bylsma and many of his new teammates.

General manager Ray Shero made it clear in June that he wouldn't have traded Staal unless Sutter was involved in Carolina's return package. Sutter is quickly starting to realize that his new teammates also highly value him.

“I'm really looking forward to this,” he said. “At first, it's tough. First time I've been traded. I was in a place where I was comfortable. It's a whole new feel now. At first it takes you back. It's a little disappointing. But once I start meeting the guys and start skating, it will be awesome. I'm getting really pumped about it.”

Sutter said his uncle, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter, and a friend were “rubbing it in” because of the Kings' recent Stanley Cup victory.

“Hopefully soon,” he said, “I can rub it back at them.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jyohe@tribweb.com.

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