Ex-Canuck Brandon Sutter retires from hockey after Oilers release him from PTO
Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Brandon Sutter is calling it a career.
On Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers announced that they had released the veteran centre from his pro-tryout contract (PTO). Sutter subsequently announced his retirement from pro hockey following the announcement.
In a statement, Sutter said his retirement was made with his health and his family in mind.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity that Ken, Jay and the Oilers organization have provided to me the past few weeks,” Sutter said. “You need to be 100 percent healthy to compete in the NHL, and although my health continues to improve, in consideration of my health and family, I am officially retiring from hockey.
“Thank you to the Oilers, Canucks, Penguins and Hurricanes, as well as all my past coaches, trainers and teammates for the incredible experiences throughout my 13 seasons in the NHL.”
Prior to this preseason stint with the Oilers, Sutter hadn’t played in a National Hockey League game since the 2020-21 season. He missed both 2021–22 and 2022–23 while recovering from Long COVID symptoms, which he opened up about in an interview on Donnie & Dhali – The Team earlier this year.
Sutter and his Canucks teammates caught the virus in late March during the 2021 season, which brought about a 20 day hiatus. Everyone including Sutter seemed to recover, but it wasn’t until late August when he started to ramp up his preparation for the 2021-22 season that Sutter noticed something wasn’t right.
“Yeah, it is frustrating. It comes out of nowhere. When we got it as a team, we all didn’t feel good,” Sutter said in the interview on Donnie and Dhali. “I think there was something like 18 of us, 19 of us that got it. We were all pretty sick for two weeks, especially those first three or four days — it was horrible.
“I think we played, what was it, maybe 20 days after we all kinda got it. Wasn’t much [of an] issue then, I didn’t really feel anything was bothering me. It was kinda mid-summer, I guess a couple months after the season, that I started noticing just difficulty breathing sometimes. Like, I couldn’t figure out what it was. And then when I really started ramping up my training in August, and my skating and everything, I just started realizing there was no way I could do this.”
Sutter had signed a one-year contract with the Canucks for the 2021–22 season, but sat out the entire year without drawing into a single game. He continued to recover during the 2022–23 season and did not sign a contract with any NHL team.
Sutter retires with 770 career NHL games to his name over parts of 13 seasons with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes. Sutter walks away from pro hockey with 152 goals and 289 points in the NHL to go along with nine goals and 18 points in 50 playoff contests.
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