The Ducks announced on Monday that they have signed defenseman Andy Sutton to a two-year contract. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
"It’s a great fit," said Sutton soon after the deal was announced. "It’s a team that can go all the way, which was important to me. It’s a mature team, a veteran team and the sky is the limit with this club."
I know that with the research the management has done there they brought me in to fill a hole. I think what I can provide can compliment the Ducks really well."
Sutton, 35 (3/10/75), appeared in 72 games with the New York Islanders and Ottawa last season, collecting 5-8=13 points with 107 penalty minutes (PIM). The 6-6, 245-pound defenseman finished the regular season ranked second among all NHL players with 204 blocked shots and eighth among NHL defensemen with 197 hits. Sutton averaged 23:01 minutes during the 2010 playoffs with the Senators and played 20-or-more minutes on 45 occasions during the regular season.
"We inquired about him at the deadline last year, I just couldn’t make things work in time to get him," said Ducks Executive VP/GM Bob Murray. "He has size, physicality and a willingness to put himself in front of pucks to block shots.
"I talked to Pat Morris (his agent) very early about Andy. We waited a little while and talked again. I had to see where the whole Wisniewski thing went and we had to let that play out a little bit. I think Andy is very excited about playing with our group and we’re very excited to have him. We were all patient and let things unfold."
Said Sutton, "My first priority was to try to make this work in Anaheim. Bob was great in working with Pat to make sure that this happened. It was very important to me. Everything came together perfectly. I know the research that management has done there. They brought me in to fill a hole. I think I can complement the Ducks really well."
A native of Kingston, Ontario, Sutton began the 2009-10 season with the Islanders before being acquired by the Senators in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft on Mar. 2, 2010. In 54 games with the Islanders, Sutton ranked first among team defensemen in PIM (73), second in time-on-ice (20:48) and tied for second in goals (4).
I’m definitely playing the best hockey of my career," Sutton said. "The mixture of experience and still being in great shape has let me grow into a more poised player. I also have a more definitive role in my own mind. Maybe early on, I tried to do more than I was capable of. I really feel like I’ve settled into my game much more."
Originally signed by San Jose as an undrafted free agent on Mar. 20, 1998, Sutton has played 12 NHL seasons with San Jose (1998-00), Minnesota (2000-02), Atlanta (2001-07), New York Islanders (2007-10) and Ottawa (2009-10). In 585 career NHL games, Sutton has compiled 35-101=136 points with 1,018 PIM.