I just received a text from Brandon Sugden:
“I just got let go today. Just want to say thank you for the help getting me here and for all of the fans for their support. Don’t know what I’m gonna do or where I’m going to play, but thanks again.”
The Sugden release does not comes as a surprise, especially on the heels of Mitch Fritz playing back-to-back games and Scott Gordon saying on “NY Hockey This Week” that he’s considering having an enforcer on the roster and Fritz was making a strong case.
No doubt two years playing in the LNH affected Sugden’s ability to keep up his skating in the new NHL. Fighting might be big again in the game, but skating never left it. Sugden will get a handful of American League offers, no question. Whether he will accept any of them is uncertain.
Say this for Sugden’s character. In the last few days, he likely knew his long-shot dream was becoming longer. Yet there he was on the ice the other day, working not just with another tough guy like Tim Jackman but also Frans Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini and others on the art of hockey self-defense. That’s called being a good teammate for as long as you’re on the team.
Just as Sugden has nothing but good things to say about the chance the Islanders gave him, you won’t hear anything but respect from the Islanders for Sugden. Well-played by everyone.