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Flames trade Brett Sutter, White to Hurricanes

by Dan Rosen
Brett Sutter is leaving his father and his uncle in Calgary to join up with his cousin in Carolina.

Along with defenseman Ian White, Sutter, a forward, was traded by Flames GM Darryl Sutter, his father, to the Hurricanes on Wednesday in exchange for defenseman Anton Babchuk and veteran forward Tom Kostopoulos.

Brandon Sutter, the son of Calgary coach Brent Sutter, is one of Carolina's alternate captains.

Brett played only four games this season for the Flames and hasn't suited up since Oct. 16. He was assigned to the Flames AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, on Monday, the same day he issued a written apology for his role in an alleged incident in Arizona the week before for which he was charged with assault.

During a conference call Wednesday afternoon, Calgary assistant GM Jay Feaster said the teams had been discussing a deal since late October and "the incident in Arizona had no impact whatsoever" in trading Sutter.

"One of the things Darryl has already prided himself on is being able to separate out personal relationships and the business aspect of what it is we do," Feaster said. "We were in a situation here where Brett was not playing, was not able to crack the starting lineup and hadn't played in an extended period … it was a decision made that this is something in the best interest of the hockey club."

Babchuk, Kostopoulos and White each haven't sat out a single game yet.

White had 6 points but was a minus-10 in 16 games for Calgary. In 17 games with the Hurricanes, Babchuk had 8 points and a minus-8 rating while Kostopoulos had 4 points on a goal and 3 assists.

"Ian is a complete defenseman who can play in our top four, and in all situations," Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement. "Brett is a young forward who is in the development stages of his professional career and gives us depth at the forward positions.
"We thank Tom and Anton for their time with the Hurricanes, and wish them well."

The Hurricanes have given up a combined 15 goals in back-to-back losses while the Flames have lost six of their last seven to fall into fourth place in the Northwest Division after a promising start.

Babchuk, who was on the ice for four of the 15 goals against Carolina in the last two games, is heading to his third team. He also previously played for Chicago. Kostopoulos is off to his fifth team after stints in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Montreal.

"We look at Tom as a guy who brings energy, brings passion, competes hard every shift, is good at killing penalties and makes us grittier. He adds to our toughness and is a hard guy to play against," Feaster said. "With Anton, we like his size, his big heavy shot, he's an offensive defenseman who jumps into plays and has very good puck skills. He's a guy we believe is a smart guy, a smart player, who fits in well within the system we're trying to play and can have success in that system."

White, who came up with Toronto in 2005, was part of the trade last winter that sent Dion Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs. Feaster said the Flames were hoping to sign him to a long-term contract before he became an unrestricted free agent after this season but didn't see that happening.

Brett Sutter was a sixth-round pick for Calgary in 2005 and has played in 18 games over the past two-plus seasons.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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