Brett Sutter traded to Hurricanes

The Calgary Flames traded defenseman Ian White and forward Brett Sutter -- who was demoted Monday to AHL Abbotsford after getting into a bar fight last week -- to Carolina for defenseman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopoulos.

Sutter, 23, was briefly jailed on suspicion of assault Nov. 11 in Scottsdale, Ariz., after he allegedly punched a man as the two were leaving a bar at closing time. The Flames were in town for a game the following day against the Phoenix Coyotes.

He apologized Sunday for the incident, but it may have been too much of an embarrassment for the organization -- his father is Flames general manager Darryl Sutter, and his uncle is coach Brent Sutter.

Calgary assistant general manager Jay Feaster said the trade was being talked about before that incident.

"This discussion took place going back to the end of October, beginning of November," Feaster said on a conference call. "He was a player that Carolina identified as someone that they wanted in the deal. So it evolved from there."

Sutter, in his fourth pro season, has one assist in four games with Calgary (7-9, fourth in the Northwest Division). He will report to the Charlotte Checkers, the Hurricanes' AHL affiliate.

"One of the things that Darryl has always prided himself on is being able to separate out the personal relationship and the business aspect of what it is that we do," Feaster said. "We were in a situation where Brett was not playing, he was not able to crack the starting lineup and hadn't played in an extended period of time. ...

"It was a decision that was made ... in the best interest of the hockey club."

As it happens, Brett Sutter is a cousin of Hurricanes center Brandon Sutter.

"Ian is a complete defenseman who can play in our top four, and in all situations," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford. "Brett is a young forward who is in the development stages of his professional career and gives us depth at the forward positions."

White, 26, was acquired by the Flames last season from Toronto in a seven-player trade that sent star defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs. White is in his sixth season, and has two goals and four assists for Calgary thus far.

Babchuk, 26, has three goals and five assists this season for the Hurricanes (8-9, fourth in the Southeast Division). He was the Chicago Blackhawks' first-round pick in 2002, and was traded to Carolina in January 2006.

Kostopoulos, 31, will be joining his fifth NHL team. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the seventh round in 1999. He has one goal, three assists and 30 penalty minutes this season (including a whopping 14 points Saturday in a 7-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens).

To help fill the holes in the roster, Carolina also recalled defenseman Brett Carson from Charlotte and ad him in the lineup for the game against the Senators. It marks Carson's fourth stint with the Hurricanes this season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.