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Senators acquire Sutton from Islanders

by John McGourty
The Ottawa Senators acquired veteran defenseman Andy Sutton from the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2010 second round pick that formerly belonged to the San Jose Sharks

The draft pick was acquired by the Senators in the September 2009 deal that sent Dany Heatley to the Sharks in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and the draft pick.

The deal adds a big-bodied, physical presence to the Senators defense. Sutton joins a defense that includes Filip Kuba, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Matt Carkner and rookie Erik Karlsson. Chris Campoli is on injured reserve with a left-knee problem.

Sutton, 34, is 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds and shoots left. He has four goals and 12 points and is minus-3 in 54 games this season. Sutton led the Islanders with 73 penalty minutes. He missed six games in early December with a groin injury.

Sutton has 34 goals and 101 assists for 135 points in 567 NHL games. The Kingston, Ontario native has collected 984 penalty minutes and is minus-19 in his 11-year NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, Atlanta Thrashers and Islanders. He was in his third season with the Islanders after signing as a free agent in August 2007.

Sutton's best season was 2005-06 when he had eight goals and 25 points and was plus-13 for the Thrashers. He also had a career-high 125 penalty minutes.

Sutton ranked third on the Islanders with an average of 20:48 minutes per game. He led the Islanders with an average of 2:28 minutes of penalty-killing time. He averaged only 12 seconds on the power play. Sutton also led the Islanders with 155 hits and 153 blocked shots.

The Senators lead the Northeast Division by one point over the Buffalo Sabres but they have a negative-1 goal differential. The Senators have scored 178 goals but have allowed 179. They rank 18th in team defense and their opponents outscore them in 5-on-5 play.

The Senators problems aren't all on the defensive side. They rank 27th on the power play and have been outshot in a majority of games. Sutton's shotblocking skills should help them.
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