Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Islanders deal Sutton to Ottawa, look towards future (Updated)

Andy Sutton has played his last game for the Islanders. Well, at least for the time being. He can always re-up this summer. The 34 year-old rugged defenseman was dealt by the club earlier today to Ottawa for a 2010 second round pick (SJ).

In three seasons off the Meadowbrook, the former Thrasher who GM Garth Snow signed in 2007 was a solid citizen who played his usual physical game. That gritty style saw him miss 59 games last season, including the final 50 due to a broken foot. He also missed 24 in Year One. In the final year of his contract, Sutton's been relatively healthy getting into 54 of the Isles' 62, producing a solid 2009-10 campaign that includes four goals, eight helpers, 73 penalty minutes, a club best 155 hits and just a minus-three rating. His 153 blocked shots rank second in the league, showing how dedicated the man is to helping a team be successful.

Now, Sutton moves to his fifth team (SJ, Min, Atl, NYI, Ott) where he'll try to help the Senators make some noise in the playoffs. They currently lead Buffalo by a point in the Northeast holding down the No.3 seed. Adding him to a blueline that at the moment still includes Anton Volchenkov, Chris Phillips, Filip Kuba and Matt Carkner and Alexandre Picard should bolster them. Especially with familiar face Chris Campoli and rookie Erik Karlsson out with injuries. The Sens also recalled Brian Lee.

As for the Islanders, it's a wise move because they got good value in return for an injury prone player whose contract expires. Snow did well here. Now, the question becomes does he move Martin Biron? The Flyers could come calling for Dwayne Roloson. Especially with Ray Emery done for the season. But Rolo has another year remaining and with Rick DiPietro back on the mend, it wouldn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to move their most dependable goalie. UPDATE: According to Bob McKenzie, the Flyers are in talks looking to acquire Roloson, who's expected to get the start tonight at home against the Blackhawks.

With Mark Streit, Bruno Gervais, Jack Hillen and close to being re-signed Andrew MacDonald comprising the club's top four, the Isles are set up well moving forward. Freddy Meyer has been solid. Radek Martinek is back next year but start the over/under at 35 for the unlucky 33 year-old Czech. Due to the trade, Dustin Kohn was recalled from Bridgeport. Boasting a surplus of young D prospects in the system that includes Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan and Travis Hamonic, the franchise will continue to get younger filled with promise.

Along with young trio John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey up front and emerging second-year coach Scott Gordon behind the bench, referencing Biggie, the "Sky's The Limit."

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