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The IceCaps have signed two veteran players to professional try-out contracts as they prepare for the commencement of their regular season tomorrow in Springfield.
The St. John's IceCaps announced this morning that they have signed veteran's Brian Sutherby and Derek Whitmore in lieu of the start of their regular season tomorrow night in Massachusetts against the Springfield Falcons.
From the IceCaps official site:
Sutherby, 30, is a veteran of 460 National Hockey League games as a former first round draft pick, recording 41 goals and 49 assists. Most recently, Sutherby spent three years with the Dallas Stars. He spent last season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.
Whitmore, 27, has played four seasons in the AHL, most recently with his hometown Rochester Americans. Whitmore scored 28 goals with the Americans last year and 27 with the Portland Pirates the year before that.
A professional try-out contract lasts only 25 games, and can be terminated at any time before 25 man games are reached. With a string of injuries already plaguing Jason Jaffray, Raymond Sawada, John Albert and Ryan Schnell -- all forwards -- these PTO's will provide sound insurance for the IceCaps.
As mentioned in the team's press release, Sutherby is an NHL veteran who can immediately excel in a shutdown role. Whitmore, for his part, brings a breadth of goal scoring ability as he demonstrated the last two years in Rochester and Portland. It shouldn't be difficult to fathom both players signing on for the remainder of the season, so long as the IceCaps' don't surpass their veteran limitations and providing their game hasn't regressed significantly. While overseeing the Manitoba Moose, TNSE was never afraid to fill their quota of verteran players, which went a long way in building a consistently competitive team. The same can be said for St. John's who appear to be following the same model that brought the Moose success.
The IceCaps' will make pit-stops in Springfield and Connecticut this weekend before their home opener next Friday versus Adirondack.