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Ducks Acquire Defenseman Foster for Sutton

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have acquired defenseman Kurtis Foster from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Andy Sutton.

Foster, 29 (11/24/81), collected 8-14=22 points with 45 penalty minutes (PIM) in 74 games with Edmonton last season. He finished tied for third on the Oilers in power play goals (5) and second in shots (182) while averaging 17:39 time-on-ice. A native of Carp, Ontario, Foster also led Edmonton defensemen in goals, and ranked third in scoring and appearances.

Foster Highlights

Originally selected by Calgary in the second round (40th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Foster has played eight NHL seasons with Atlanta (2002-04), Minnesota (2005-09), Tampa Bay (2009-10), and Edmonton (2010-11). In 331 career NHL games, the 6-5, 226-pound defenseman has scored 37-104=141 points with 248 PIM. A member of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2004-05, Foster won the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year for service to his local community in 2003-04. He was originally acquired by Anaheim from Atlanta in exchange for Niclas Havelid on June 26, 2004.

Sutton, 36 (3/10/75), appeared in 39 games with the Ducks last season, earning 0-4=4 points with a +1 rating and 87 PIM. The 6-6, 245-pound defenseman finished the regular season ranked first on the club in road plus/minus (+6), fifth in blocked shots (87) and tied for first in shorthanded assists (2).

A native of London, Ontario, Sutton has played 13 NHL seasons with San Jose (1998-00), Minnesota (2000-02), Atlanta (2001-07), New York Islanders (2007-10), Ottawa (2009-10), and Anaheim (2010-11). In 624 career NHL games, he has compiled 35-105=140 points with 1,105 PIM.

Foster spoke to reporters via conference call on Frday afternoon:

On how he learned of the trade
I’m visiting my brother, introducing him to my new little baby, who is five weeks old. We were on our way home from being downtown and I got a bunch of texts saying I was traded to Anaheim. I was a little surprised. I just got off the phone with David McNab and I have a lot of excitement right now. I didn’t expect to get traded. Coming to a team like Anaheim, I have been part of the organization before and I know how well it is run. The players, like Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry and the guys they have there now, it’s just exciting to get to play with these guys.

On the past year with Edmonton
It’s an amazing feeling to know last year we were rebuilding. We went through a long process of making ourselves better throughout the year. It was tough losing as much as we did.

On Anaheim
Going to a team like Anaheim, with the players they have, the coaching staff and the way they run the organization, they are in the thick of things every year to win the Stanley Cup. To know that I have a chance with Anaheim to go deep in the playoffs and maybe win a Cup is definitely really exciting. To play with those guys that they have there, it brings a smile to my face and my whole family’s face.

On his role
That will be something that I will hopefully be able to talk about more with Randy and the coaching staff. What I try to bring to the game is I want to play a solid all-around game and try to add as much offense as I can. With the players they have up front and even the defensemen they have, it’s really going to help with getting my shot through. I just try to chip in offensively and on the power play as much as I can. I looked at their d-men once I got traded, checked out. It’s a good solid core of guys who are already there. It makes me excited that it doesn’t matter who I will be paired with, it’s going to be a good defenseman.

One of the things that is a big benefit of playing against Anaheim and seeing them is that they always have two solid lines. Of course you have Bobby Ryan, Perry and Getzlaf. But also Teemu if he comes back, Saku and Jason Blake. Even the second unit is going to be good. No matter where I am placed, there will definitely be guys out there who will make me better and hopefully I can make them better.

On being fully recovered from a 2008 leg injury
I don’t even notice it anymore. When I’m training and skating, there is nothing that I do differently than what I would have done before. It’s not something that holds me back and I don’t have to pay an extra attention to it. I don’t even think about it.

When I was with Minnesota and had the injury, I came back and played 10 games. Then they basically changed the whole organization. They brought in a new GM and coach and decided to go in a different way. I signed with Tampa and they gave me an opportunity to show myself again. Last year, it was my decision. It came down to where it didn’t really work with Tampa. I thought Edmonton was the best situation for me and my family. Something like today where you get traded, it’s out of my control. I didn’t ask to be traded. I wanted to get back. I had their skating coach come in and work with me. I was getting ready to go back to Edmonton. I was disappointed I was traded. But at the same point, I’m really excited about the new beginning and hopefully I can make Anaheim my place for the future and stay there a long time.
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