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Q&A With Brian Sutherby

by Travis Betts / Dallas Stars recently sat down with Stars center Brian Sutherby, who talked about his summer, adjusting to his new team last season, and getting a chance to play with Brenden Morrow.  What have you been doing this summer?

Sutherby Video Highlights
  I took a couple trips early on, but I mostly stayed in Edmonton and work with my trainer there with five or six other NHL guys. I’m pretty much training Monday through Friday, while mixing in a little golf during the week and some fishing on the weekends.

You have been in Dallas since last December.  What has been the best thing about Dallas, and how well have you adjusted to being here?

  Whenever you get traded it’s a pretty interesting time and it takes a bit to adjust, but it’s a great dressing room here, and I think we have a great team. Obviously, I think everyone was disappointed with the way last year finished up, and we’re all excited and ready to go. I think you can tell guys are getting here early and excited to get moving.

How important is it going to be for you to have a full training camp and a full season to work with the team?

  I think that’s probably the biggest thing, and what I look forward to the most. Having been traded the last two years in the middle of the season was probably the biggest difference that I noticed comfort-wise. Last year, going back to Anaheim and having a full training camp, I seemed to get off to a pretty good start. It just helps, being around the guys, being around the dressing room, being more comfortable, and obviously going into training camp feeling good.

When you came to Dallas last year, you were filling an empty roster spot because certain players were going down with injuries.  Now, with those players healthy, what do you need to do during training camp to impress the new coaching staff?

  Obviously, we have a very deep lineup, and a deep roster, hopefully I can just do some of the same things as last year: be a good, reliable defensive player that goes out and bangs, crashes and sticks up for teammates and can hopefully chip in here or there offensively. I want to be a guy that can shuffle up or down the lineup when there are injuries or changes. The expectations for me are to just go out there, do what I do and work hard.

How important is it going to be for this team to stay healthy and get off to a good start?

  I wasn’t here at the start of last season, but as cliché as it is, the start of the season is just as important as the end, and all 82 games are huge.  So I think getting off to a good start is absolutely crucial. Staying healthy is very important—You never want to make excuses, but obviously injuries took a pretty big toll last year. It will be a big bonus if we stay healthy.

How tough is it to not only come to a new team, where you are having to adjust to a whole room full of new guys, but having to frequently play with a different group every night when you go out on the ice?

  I think anyone would tell you that it’s better when you have some continuity and some familiar faces from game to game, and you are able to read off guys and learn where guys are going. It’s certainly an adjustment, but those are things you have to deal with.

You didn’t get a chance to play with Brenden Morrow last year, so how much are you looking forward to getting out on the ice and playing with him, and will you feed off of each other’s energy?

  When I was 16 and he was 19 [in Junior hockey], he was kind of a guy that I looked up to. I really respect the way that he plays. The years that I’ve been in the league, I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. Even though I didn’t get to play with him last year, I know how valuable he is to this team. Having a leader like that, that plays the way he does, and sticks up for teammates, that just gets everybody going.

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