The Vancouver Canucks aren’t expecting Brandon Sutter back anytime soon. The veteran forward is dealing with long-term symptoms from COVID-19, general manager Jim Benning told reporters including Thomas Drance of The Athletic, and will be out “for a while.” The team is focused on getting Sutter back to full health before putting him on the ice.
Sutter, 32, signed a new one-year, $1.125MM contract with the Canucks this offseason to stay with the team he’s been a part of since 2015. The checking center had just nine goals and 12 points last season but is still an effective enough bottom-six option that can take some of the tough defensive matchups. Without him, the team has Nic Petan in the fourth-line center spot at practice.
Earlier this year, Sutter detailed his experience with COVID-19 to Drance after being one of the many Canucks that tested positive for coronavirus last season. He explained then that he had trouble catching his breath and experienced light-headedness. Benning explained as camp started that Sutter was experiencing “fatigue” and he has not joined the team since. The executive confirmed today that Sutter does not have myocarditis. Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet tweets that Sutter trained for most of the offseason without experiencing issues, but the fatigue “started to become debilitating” in mid-August.
Sutter will not be listed on the Canucks active roster and it is not clear when he will be available to the team this season.