The Carolina Hurricanes will get one of their more steady players back in the lineup soon.
The team activated forward Riley Nash off injured reserve and demoted Zach Boychuk and Brett Sutter to make room for him on the roster. Nash missed the past five games with a lower-body injury.
This season, Nash has played in 36 games and has 10 points. For a guy playing fourth line minutes, that’s steady production. Of course, the Hurricanes are waiting on a few of their big name players to get healthy.
Captain Eric Staal (lower-body), forward Jiri Tlusty (appendectomy), and goalie Cam Ward (lower-body) are all still out of action. Getting Staal and Tlusty back soon will help push them deeper into the playoff hunt in the Metropolitan Division.
Blake Comeau can pack his bags for Calgary as the Flames have claimed him on waivers. The former Islanders forward is coming off a season that saw him score 24 goals but he struggled mightily this season on Long Island.
In need of an apparent change of scenery, the Isles tried to move him before this unable to find a trading partner. Putting him on waivers gave Comeau the chance to land somewhere else and that somewhere else is Calgary. There Comeau will rejoin his former World Juniors coach Brett Sutter. If someone can help Comeau find his game, Sutter is as good a choice as any and that’s something Flames GM Jay Feaster was likely banking on.
The other upside for Calgary is that they were able to get a 25 year-old forward who could find his game once again and help spark a Flames team in desperate need of something to help them out. If Comeau can find that 20-goal scoring nose for the net again, it’s a great pickup.
If Comeau continues to not help produce at all (he has zero points this year) then it’ll just be more of the same lack of production in Calgary.
It looks like Brett Sutter will be able to put an embarrassing incident behind him soon. The mugshot featured in this post was taken after Sutter was arrested on November 11, 2010 for allegedly punching a cab driver outside of a Scottsdale, Arizona bar. Sutter pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges and was fined $323.60 for that incident today. The situation might not be completely behind him until he appears in court for a restitution hearing on September 15, though.
Jason van Rassel points out that Sutter originally received two misdemeanor assault charges but the lesser charge was dropped. It seems like the greatest damage was done to Sutter’s image because the cab driver’s injuries were described as just a “bloody lip.”
Sutter was in the Calgary Flames’ Sutter-heavy organization at the minor league level before the incident happened but was traded to the now-just-as-Sutter-heavy Carolina Hurricanes shortly afterward. Chip Alexander caught up with Hurricanes GM Jay Rutherford for comment.
“We were aware something was pending from last winter,” Rutherford said. “It’s important that it be taken care of properly in the legal system, and it sounds like it has.
“We all have to learn from the things we do. All I can say is that since we have had him, Brett has been very good on and off the ice.”
It was a tough run for Sutter (not to mention relations between hockey players and cab drivers) for a while there, but it looks like everyone can move on soon enough. In the long run, the general hockey public wins because we can enjoy that wonderful mustachioed mugshot long after the real embarrassment fades.
(Mug shot via the Calgary Herald/Scottsdale police.)
When it comes to publicity, if the NHL makes it onto TMZ Sports, it’s usually not a good thing. (Aside from the occasional story about Joel Quenneville getting his house amicably ransacked after winning the Stanley Cup.)
The latest NHL player to earn bad tabloid attention is Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek, who is being accused of punching a woman in the face at a Hollywood nightclub.
It’s far from the first bar-related incident in the NHL this season, as Brett Sutter made all kinds of negative headlines during an “out of character” incident in an Arizona bar. It’s also not the first time a member of the Leafs has been accused of hitting a member of the opposite sex, asd Komisarek’s teammate Mikhail Grabovski got himself into some trouble for allegedly striking a woman too.
TMZ Sports describes what sounds like an ugly incident (if it is true):
Law enforcement sources tell us … the 28-year-old defensive powerhouse was named in a police report filed by a woman who claims the whole thing went down after Komisarek decided to lift her up in the air at a Hollywood nightclub.
We’re told the woman claims she demanded Komisarek put her down — but he refused — so she slapped him in the face.
The woman claims Komisarek immediately set her down … and then punched her in the face, causing her to bleed.
No word from Komisarek, the Maple Leafs or the NHL just yet, but we’ll keep you updated when someone responds regarding the accusations. We’ll let you know if Komisarek faces any discipline from the law or the league as time goes by.
A trade from out of the blue always spices the day up nicely. Today, the Carolina Hurricanes traded defenseman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopolous to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Ian White and young forward Brett Sutter.
Sutter we’ve heard plenty about of late after his legal wranglings after allegedly assaulting a taxi cab driver in Scottsdale, Arizona. Making this deal all the more awkward for him is that it was his father, Darryl Sutter, that traded him to Carolina all while his uncle Brent is the coach in Calgary. In Carolina, he’ll be on the same team as his cousin Brandon Sutter. It’s always a family affair when it comes to Calgary. If you’re thinking that Brett’s arrest played into the deal, TSN’s Darren Dreger says that’s not the case.
As for the other players in this deal, the ones to focus on are Babchuk and White. Babchuk came back to Carolina this season after spending a year away in the KHL. He’s an offensively-minded blue liner with a huge shot from the point to help him out. Having him trade spots with White seems like an even-up kind of deal. White, after being traded to Calgary last season from Toronto, was an offensive blue line specialist for the Flames providing a boost to their scoring with Jay Bouwmeester being ineffective from the point.
With White moving on to Carolina, they add a guy that logs tons of minutes (he’s averaged 21:43 per game this year) and gives them a similar kind of production on the power play when needed. Whereas Babchuk was more of a one-way threat, White gives the Hurricanes better balance on the back line. While White has been struggling badly of late, reuniting him with Paul Maurice whom he played for in Toronto could spark his game. Babchuk, meanwhile, will try to help jump-start the Flames offense from the back end.
Not to be lost here are the financial implications of the deal. White’s contract is up after this season and he’s making nearly $3 million, whereas Babchuk is pulling in about $1.4 million on his deal that ends this year. Meanwhile Kostopolous’ cap hit is for $916,000 for the next two seasons. It’s not much of a cutback for the Flames, but the extra salary freedom could help them out should they either be looking to make another move down the road or just get some players from LTIR (like Ales Kotalik for example) back into the lineup. Of course, if that’s what their motivation is, you can just chalk this up as more strangeness coming out of the front office in Calgary.
On the whole, this deal looks like one that swaps out offensive-defensemen and gives Calgary a character grinder in Kostopolous and gives Carolina another young forward to put in their system, one who could benefit playing with his cousin in the future.