The New York Islanders have signed 6-foot-6 defenseman Andy Sutton to a three-year contract. Sutton, who will enter his ninth NHL season in 2007-08, scored two goals and added 14 assists for Atlanta last season and is known for his shot-blocking and physical play. Despite playing in just 55 games last season, Sutton ranked 19th in the NHL in blocked shots with 162. In 2005-06, Sutton ranked fourth in the NHL with 195 blocked shots.
“Andy adds a little bit of everything both on offense and defense and we really like what he brings to the table,” said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. “We talk about heart, grit and character and Andy Sutton has a ton of it all. He’s a big guy who plays big and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. He fills a big void for us and our fans are going to love to watch him in an Islanders uniform because he’s a competitor and hard worker.”
The 32-year old Sutton has played in 432 NHL career games with Atlanta, Minnesota and San Jose and has scored 27 goals with 78 assists for 105 points. A native of Kingston, Ontario, Sutton was originally signed by the Sharks as a free agent after playing for Michigan Tech for four seasons from 1994-95 to 1997-98. In his senior season, Sutton was named to the WCHA’s Second All-Star Team after scoring 16 goals with 24 assists for 40 points in 38 games.
“We’re very pleased to bring Andy Sutton to Long Island on a long-term deal,” said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. “He fits the personality of the team Ted and I are putting together.”