Zac Dalpe's injury means Brett Sutter will be on the Canes' three-game road trip to Boston, St. Louis and Winnipeg. And while Sutter grew up around the NHL and NHL games, there's something special to putting on the sweater and playing.
"Absolutely," Sutter said today. "My dad told me the first time I ever got called up that if I wasn't nervous I wasn't ready. I still get nervous every time I get called up.
"That's the way I like it. It's good to be excited to be here."
Sutter, 24, is the son of Darryl Sutter and the cousin of the Canes' Brandon Sutter. Traded from the Calgary Flames to the Canes last November, Sutter played one game for the Canes last season and has 19 games of NHL experience.
Sutter had a strong training camp with the Canes and has been named the captain of the Charlotte Checkers (AHL). He was recalled today to replace Dalpe, who has a lower-body injury.
"These guys up here, their decision-making is one step quicker," Sutter said. "There's a fine line between the NHL and American League. The guys in the American League are working hard, but up here is the real deal, so when you get up here you need to learn as quick as you can. There's no time to ease into it."
Speaking of pregame nervousness, Sutter's first game will be in Boston, against the Bruins, who figure to still be seething a little over that 3-2 loss to the Canes last week.
"I played there once before and we got smoked when I played for Calgary," Sutter said, smiling. "I'm looking forward to getting back there and playing a good game tomorrow."
"I just want to keep it simple, play an energetic game and be a reliable player. I like to play a physical game, be a little bit greasy, go to the net, put pucks there and create some chances, but be good in my own end, as well."
Sutter will play left wing on Tim Brent's line opposite Anthony Stewart. Canes coach Paul Maurice said other than Sutter, there would be no lineup changes for the Bruins. Cam Ward will start in goal.