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Why the Penguins should keep Brandon Sutter

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Since acquiring third line center Brandon Sutter from the Hurricanes in 2012, Sutter has added multiple things to the Penguins. He is currently on the trade block, but there are multiple reasons why he should be kept on the Penguins. His right-handed shot and his exceptional wrist shot are pluses, but what really sets him apart from other players is his defensive and penalty-killing talent.

Pittsburgh's penalty-kill is one of the better ones in the NHL this season. A lot of that success can be attributed to Sutter. The former Cane has the ability to sniff out cross-ice passes and clear them. He can also shut down a particular scorer if need be; somebody like Steven Stamkos of the Lightning or Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals. His shutdown ability was shown in a loss to the Capitals a couple weeks ago. After a dirty play by Ovechkin that somehow was not called for a penalty, the Penguins rightfully retaliated and took a penalty themselves. With momentum on the Pens' side and the home fans going crazy, Sutter made sure Ovie didn't score on the power-play. He stayed with the award-winning winger like a basketball player playing man-to-man defense. Although Pittsburgh would end up taking a loss in the game, Sutter showed his valuableness to Pittsburgh by playing a big role in killing the penalty and keeping the Pens in the game.

The Penguins have struggled with depth in recent years. Their third and fourth lines have never consistently produced. The only player that has played well for multiple years on the bottom-two lines is Sutter. He had 19 points in the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season, and followed that up with 26 points the next year. He is playing even better this year, with 23 points already 59 games into the season. Despite having a rotation of line-mates on the third (and sometimes fourth) line this season, Brandon Sutter is still playing his best. So general manager Jim Rutherford should keep from trading Sutter, who brings something to the Penguins that they don't have anywhere else.

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