Former NHL players present at practices to get practice in
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/08/2012 -- Brian Sutherby, a first-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2000 is taking up the Predators on their informal practices to help him stay sharp in case the upcoming season can continue despite the current lockout.
While Predator players crack jokes, Sutherby is staying focused and serious when it comes to his time on the yes. Essentially, Sutherby will take the opportunity because it is just that, while the lockout continues to weigh on the now deteriorating 2012-13 season.
The 30-year-old center has 460 games under his belt in the NHL with the Dallas Stars.
“I’m basically trying to get my foot back in the door, showing the team I’m healthy and that I can play,” Sutherby said. “I know as long as I’m healthy and my back is feeling good that I can still play at this level. It has been great to skate with these guys and get back up to speed at this level.”
It would normally be odd to see players without Predator connections practicing in Nashville if it was for any other reason. However, Sutherby’s explanation puts it simply: Family. His wife is from the area and the two welcomed their first child last summer. “We wanted to be around her family,” Sutherby said. “We felt being here was the best-case scenario,” Sutherby said.
Sutherby earned four points in 51 games in his final season with Dallas. His career high has been 30 in 76 games in 2005-06 with the Capitols. He missed the 2010-11 season due to a herniated disc and bulging disc. The injury was said to weaken his lower body, causing his ability to play to drop considerably.
“It wasn’t fun,” he said. “I played through it for most of the season before, which made it a lot worse.”
Sutherby was unable to find a team to hitch to last season, and played 15 games with San Antonio in the AHL before the injury sidelined him.
“It just didn’t come around the way I wanted it to,” he said. “It cost me the year. I’m looking forward, I’m feeling healthy. That’s all I can do,” Sutherby said.
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