A Class Act

For some of us around here, today is a bit of a sad day. The Caps dealt Brian Sutherby to Anaheim today in exchange for the Ducks’ second-round choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. I’ve known Sutherby since the say he was drafted, and he was always a favorite of mine, both for the way he played the game and for the way he conducted himself off the ice.

Looking back upon his days with the Caps, I’ll always wonder how different things might have been for him if he hadn’t sustained that debilitating groin injury at the Center Ice Prospects Tournament in Traverse City back in the late summer of 2002. That injury dogged him for the next few years and almost certainly robbed him of some effectiveness and speed along the way. He never complained about it, never felt sorry for himself, just kept working hard to rehab and get back on the ice where he belongs.

His best year with the Caps was 2005-06, which also happened to be one of the team’s poorest seasons. When the media parade went downstairs en masse after each game, Sutherby could always be counted on to be sitting at his stall, win or lose. He never hid in the shower, never made excuses.

On the ice, he was a teammate’s teammate. He grew up idolizing Mark Messier and played the game with the same brand of “heart on the sleeve” intensity that the Hall of Fame captain brought to his teams night in and night out. If someone took liberties with a player who wore the same sweater as Sutherby, he was one guy you could count on to take note and at least try to exact some retribution.

This season was tough on Sutherby. He played in only five of Washington’s first 19 games, and had been surpassed on the team’s depth chart by other centers the club liked better. For a guy who loves playing the game as much as Sutherby does, it had to hurt to sit watch and it probably hurt even more to sit and watch the team not performing well.

So now he’s off to Anaheim, and I think he’ll be a good fit there in that lineup and that organization. Sutherby should certainly get a fresh start there, something he could use. He is only 25 years old and I know he believes he can contribute to a solid NHL organization and I believe he can, too. He’ll have more than a few folks in these parts rooting for him, among them my nine-year-old son. That’s fine with me, because Sutherby is the kind of guy you’d like your kid to look up to.

Good luck in Anaheim Suts, and thanks for being such a stand-up guy while you were here.

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20 Comments on “A Class Act”

  1. Catalyst Says:

    this is a sad day indeed, here’s hoping all the best for Suts in all his endeavors…

  2. capitalpunishment Says:

    Good luck to Sutherby.

  3. Captn Clark Says:

    Good luck to Suts, I for one miss him. Personally I thought we needed MORE players like him. We’ve seen how well this finese style works for us. It doesnt, in fact Im not only watching them fail, Im watching them fail and [most] not care. Didnt we learn our lesson from the Jagr years? At least in the 05-06 & 06-07 we always tried, even if we lost it made the games entertaining and worth going to.

  4. Dan, Jr. Says:

    I wish it could have worked out for him in Washington. Hope he does well out west. Also hope that draft pick ends up being a good one.

  5. strungout Says:

    A true warrior.

    He’ll be missed.

  6. Matt Says:

    Good luck to you Suts.

  7. BernieWolfeFan Says:

    First, I wish you all the best.
    Second, lets do the math. McPhee trades a first rounder for a second round pick? If you Flat Earthers are happy, the Caps will always have high draft.

  8. opus Says:

    Good Luck Brian, I hope you enjoy your time with a real NHL Franchise.

  9. […] A Class Act For some of us around here, today is a bit of a sad day. The Caps dealt Brian Sutherby to Anaheim today in exchange for […] […]

  10. frustrated caps fan Says:

    Good luck to a standup guy.

    That said it’s a mistake and we need more guys like him – to quote Olie the Goalie on the trade “It s*&ks”. The chants of “Fire Hanlon” at the VC and the calls for GM McPhee’s head as well here in Blogsphere are becoming louder and more justified each day.

    Only bright spots tonight: Ovie’s checking and energy all over the ice except for a 7-10 minute streatch in the 2nd when none of the Caps looked good. Poti’s play and Semin’s excellent return to the action. Oh and Zednick looked good too bad he was in the wrong uniform.

  11. Capnut Says:

    We should have traded Hanlon. The chants and boos will be getting louder. To the PLAYERS, rest assured, the boos and chants are not directed to you. We like you, we embrace you; we don’t like your coach. We feel your pain.

  12. kenhockey Says:

    At least Suts has a chance to play with a quality team. Good for him.
    I bet other Caps wish they were going with him.
    This season is over for our Caps. The Ducks have a long way to go.

  13. LP Says:

    Thanks for writing this. I too think it was (and still is) a sad day for the organization, and even thought I know he’s going to get a chance to play and he’s going to a good situation for him, it’s hard to see him go. I always liked how he played on the ice, and he was always one of the most friendly and personable guys off the ice too. He’ll be missed a lot.

    How have the other players reacted to this?

  14. M.Kulski Says:

    Good luck, Brian!
    I was a big Sutherby fan.
    He was the first guy I ever knew when I first got into hockey. I liked him because of his toughness and liked him ever since then. He’s been my favorite player.

    I’ve only heard good things about him. Great guy, always smiling and happy, respectful, takes responsibility, team player, team LEADER, and was very well liked on and off the ice as well as in the locker room. This was the guy who we were saying would soon be named Captain of the Caps.

    But now he’s up in Anaheim. Only good things can come from this, however. He’ll hopefully get great ice time and he gets to start over.

    Brian is still young and still has amazing potential. I’m looking forward to listening to Anaheim games now to see how he does. Looks like my second favorite team is now the Ducks.

    Best Wishes Brian,
    a Brian Sutherby fan.

  15. Turk from Alaska Says:

    Hey, at least the Caps got another draft pick!

  16. Noor Says:

    😦 Good luck. Im really gonna miss him on the caps. Just the other day I was watching Brian and the rest of the caps practicing at Kettler, and now hes in Anaheim. It’s kinda a weird feeling, knowing hes not going to be at our games anymore. Oh well, I hope he likes anaheim.

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