Saturday, August 11, 2007


It may have taken a while, but the New York Islanders finally answered some of the questions regarding their blue line by signing free agent defenseman Andy Sutton. Finally, Islanders fans have something to be happy about as Sutton’s presence in the lineup instantly gives them a big, shot blocking defenseman with some grit, who can chew up a ton of ice time and is just the type of hard working player coach Ted Nolan loves to surround himself with. At 6’- 6” 245 Sutton brings good size and a decent shot to the Islanders back end. Sutton also brings much needed veteran stability to what will be a young group of D-men that include Bruno Gervais, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Chris Campoli. Sutton has bounced around the league a bit having played for San Jose, Minnesota and Atlanta totaling 432 NHL games. Last season he was tied for the 19th spot in the league for blocked shots with 162 even though he missed 27 games. He was 4th in the league in 2005-06 with 195 blocked shots. It was surprising to most that it took so long for a team to pick up Sutton, as he was high on the list of free agent blue-liners heading into July. The reason may have to do with original salary demands that may have since changed or the Islanders realizing their glaring need, paid a price that had most teams shying away. Regardless, the Islanders now have a replacement for departed defenseman Sean Hill who was signed by the Wild earlier this summer. This signing is truly a step in the right direction for the Isles. It still may not be enough for the fans to take off the paper bags next season, but you might catch a couple of them sneaking a peek.

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