Penguins notebook: Sutter surprised by trade possibility

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Brandon Sutter was part of the Penguins' last franchise-altering trade. He never expected to possibly be part of their next one.

“I thought I'd be here for a while, but I guess we'll see,” Sutter said Tuesday before the Penguins played the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Sutter is part of a proposed package that general manager Ray Shero has pitched to the Vancouver Canucks in an attempt to land center Ryan Kesler by the trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday. He also was the centerpiece of a package that Carolina sent to the Penguins for center Jordan Staal in July 2012.

Sutter, on Tuesday morning, appeared resigned to another professional uprooting. He said there were “rumblings” of his possible involvement in the Penguins' push for Kesler last week and described his situation as “tough, tricky and out of my control.”

“I've been in a somewhat similar situation,” Sutter said, referring to the days before he was traded to the Penguins. “But never before when I had to go out and play.”

Sutter, 25, will be a restricted free agent this summer. Whoever his employer, that team will control his rights while likely also boosting his current salary-cap hit of about $2.1 million.

He had 10 goals and 21 points in 60 games before Tuesday, but his real value was as a shutdown defensive center. Sutter rated 12th among players at his position at 1.69 goals-against per 60 minutes of average even-strength time.

Kesler, by comparison, was a 3.12.

Feeling lucky

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has no plans to wear the specialty equipment he donned for the Stadium Series game Saturday at Chicago's Soldier Field.

At least he had the option, though.

Fleury said Tuesday he was surprised that Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford had so much trouble with his equipment. Crawford's mask was lost during shipping, and he said Monday that his leg pads and gloves were heisted from the football stadium.

“That's tough, especially being the home team goalie,” Fleury said Tuesday. “I've never really thought about getting robbed of my gear.

“It's just weird. It's not nice. Some people are not nice.”

Fleury said his mask, which was Steelers-inspired, will remain part of a private collection. He will have a replica made and auctioned for his charity. He had planned to wear the golden leg pads again but said the Penguins' 5-1 loss in the Stadium Series game guaranteed those will be permanently shelved.

Soft cast

Defenseman Paul Martin's right hand was placed in a soft cast after surgery Friday to repair a broken bone.

The cast is scheduled to be removed this week, but Martin remains at least three weeks from returning. He was injured while playing for Team USA at the Winter Olympics.

Martin diagnosed to miss four to six weeks by team doctors.

Around the boards

Forward Chuck Kobasew cleared waivers and played for the Penguins on their fourth line against Nashville. … Rookie Olli Maatta was paired with Brooks Orpik as part of a defensive shakeup. Rob Scuderi played with Matt Niskanen, and Robert Bortuzzo was with Simon Despres.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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