Andy Sutton played 676 NHL games over 15 years, paying the physical toll and maintaining a professional hockey career through what was his final season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2013.
But c’mon, we all know the guy’s legacy as he announces his retirement on Wednesday. It’s two-fold. First, and perhaps foremost, it’s this indelible soundbyte in 2010 in which he questions a reporter about his expertise:
“Are you asking me or are you telling me?” and “So you’re an expert?” and “You saw the replay?” have entered into the NHL lexicon. It’s like the “Who’s on First?” for puckheads.
The other legacy: The suspensions, and his reaction to them.
Sutton was an early poster boy for Brendan Shanahan’s Department of Player Safety, getting suspended for 13 games total in Shanny’s first year as sheriff: Five for a headshot on Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and eight for another hit to the head on Alexei Ponikarovsky of the Carolina Hurricanes.
He was also one of the first players to speak out against the NHL’s crackdown on certain types of hits. As he told the Edmonton Journal:
"This will be hard because my style of play is to be on my toes, playing physically," said Sutton. "You may see more hits with my back and my butt than my shoulders and my elbow. Seems to be the only way you're not suspended anymore."
"Those guys have to calm down, it's nuts. Everybody does. You can almost dissect every hit and see a guy leaving his feet or there's contact to the head. Guys are always leaning (with the puck). It can look like an elbow, but it's not. The media shows it 1,000 times."
After two seasons of the Department of Player Safety and Rule 48, do you read Sutton’s comments in a different light?
Here’s the full release from the NHLPA on Sutton’s retirement:
Andy Sutton officially announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL) today, following a 15-year career.
As a result of the physical game he played as a defenceman, he endured 12 surgeries for various injuries that caused him to miss a number of games in his career. Notwithstanding, Sutton played in 676 NHL games for seven different NHL teams. He registered 1,134 hits, 1,164 blocked shots and 1,185 penalty minutes, while also scoring 38 goals and 112 assists for 150 points in his career.
“My NHL career enabled me to not only play the game I love, but to also be a part of something that so many kids dream about growing up,” said Andy Sutton. “Throughout my 15 years in the league, I have played for some exceptional hockey teams and have met quality people and friends along the way. None of what I accomplished on the ice would have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, friends, teammates and fans who made playing hockey even more enjoyable.”
He was always known for his resiliency, toughness and steady play. At 6’6”, 245 lbs., Sutton was a hulking, stay-at-home defenceman who was not afraid to sacrifice his body to make a play or save a goal. His dependable play was valued by each team he played for, evident in his average ice-time of 17:42 during the regular season in his career.
“Having played with Andy, I can say that his leadership and character both on the ice and in the dressing room were extremely valuable to me as a young a player in the league,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers centre. “He taught me a lot about what it takes to play at this level, and he was a great teammate.”
Sutton’s career in the NHL began with the San Jose Sharks in 1998-99, before he went on to play with the Minnesota Wild, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and finally the Edmonton Oilers where he finished his career.
Prior to reaching the NHL, he played 121 games in four seasons with Michigan Tech, which included an outstanding senior season in 1997-98 when he scored 40 points in 38 games and was named to the All-WCHA Second Team. While developing his on-ice game in college, Sutton also earned a degree in engineering.
Sutton signed with the San Jose Sharks in 1998 and played in his first NHL game on October 20, 1998. After spending the following season with the Sharks, he was traded to the Minnesota Wild on June 11, 2000. Sutton played 69 games in 2000-01 in Minnesota, while leading the Wild in hits (123) and ranking second in penalty minutes (131). On January 22, 2002, he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers where he played for the better part of the next five years.
In the 2003-04 season with the Thrashers, he set career highs in power play goals (7), shots (102) and average ice-time (23:34), while leading all Atlanta defencemen in goals (8) and accumulating a five-game points streak in March of that year. Sutton played for GCK and ZSC in Switzerland during the 2004-05 lockout. In the 2005-06 season, he led the team in penalty minutes (144) and blocked shots (195) – fourth most in the league – while tying a personal best in goals (8) and also registering career highs in games played (76) and points (25), along with plus-minus (+13) which was tops among all Thrashers defencemen. In 2006-07, as part of the first and only Thrashers team in franchise history to make the playoffs, Sutton ranked 19th in the NHL in blocked shots (162) and he played in 55 regular season games and all four playoff games.
He played three seasons on Long Island after signing with the New York Islanders in the summer of 2007. In 2007-08, he finished second on the team in penalty minutes (86). In 2008-09, he played in his 500th career game (November 17, 2008 vs. Vancouver). In the 2009-10 season, which he split between the Islanders and Ottawa Senators, he ranked second in the league in blocked shots (204) and eighth among all defenceman in hits (197). In the six playoff games he played for the Senators, he averaged more than 23 minutes of ice-time. In 2010-11, after signing as a free agent with the Anaheim Ducks, he finished fifth on the team in blocked shots (87) and first in plus-minus on the road (+6), and made another playoff appearance.
On July 1, 2011, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers. Sutton was a solid contributor in Edmonton in 2011-12, registering 10 points, a plus-minus rating of +5, 112 hits, 95 blocked shots and 80 penalty minutes in 52 games. While under contract with the Oilers for 2012-13, he was forced to sit out the entire season due to a knee injury.
“I had the pleasure of working with Andy in Edmonton. In the season he played for us, not only did he accept his role on the team, but what he was doing in helping bring our young kids along, and the person he was, was really influential on our group. We’re grateful to Andy for that,” said Ralph Krueger, Edmonton Oilers head coach. “He always showed great character, stayed a gentleman in the process, and he gave us a good effort in his final season. We were sorry to lose him for this past season and it’s really too bad he couldn’t have played. I wish him all the best.”
Andy resides in California with his wife Natalie and daughter Kseniya. He is in the process of licensing the seven technology patents for bodily protection systems that he has been working on for the past few years.
Jersey Fouls is our ongoing exploration of the rules and etiquette for proper hockey jersey creation and exhibition. If you spot what you think may be a foul in your arena, email a photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future installment.
Via reader Jenni comes this bro-tastic bro-dacious Jersey Bro, bro:
Seen at a Charlotte Checkers game, this guy was REALLY proud of his "BROVECHKIN" jersey, and asked me to take a picture of him (and the Nutcracker) with his own camera as well.
I can assure you, the Checkers were NOT playing the AHL affiliate of the Capitals... so that too, is a foul, in my opinion!
Your opinion is correct. This is a Russian nesting doll of Fouls.
(Also, it speaks to the power of the Foul that we didn’t even notice the albino cousin of Cookie Puss holding a bag of peanuts next to him.)
We were curious if “Brovechkin” was an actual thing, and not just Mike Green’s daily greeting to his captain. We discovered it has an Urban Dictionary entry:
“a bro who has dirty swag.”
That bro should probably find a Laundromat.
Anyhoo, there’s also “Brovechkin” gear available on sites like Bros Like These Shirts, in case you absolutely have the need to call attention to what a wide bro-cabulary you have. Vomit.
(Coming Up: A George Parros mustache Foul; a hideous Tampa sweater; Toronto Maple Leafs Tribute jersey; Detroit Red Wings hate Frankenjersey; another Caps Foul; Revisionist Sweaters; and a rather crude ‘69’ jersey.)
And here … we … go.
Vincent sends in this rather clever Anaheim Ducks Jersey Foul, as a fan simply placed a George Parros mustache where his nameplate would go.
This is actually a new category for us: The Symbolic Name Jersey.
We’re not sure whether to Pass of Fail it, to be honest, because it borders on being a Tribute Jersey to a beloved player. And we’re interested in seeing other symbols used for NHL players. Like a loaded slice of pizza for Brodeur. Or a severed head for Raffi Torres…
Via Habermac, this Chicago Blackhawks’ FrankenJersey is really atrocious, from the spacing of the words to the fact that it incorporates the black sweater rather than the Greatest Jersey In The History Of The NHL.
That said, we hope he enjoyed his flatbread grilled chicken sandwich at Wendy’s. A little hard to eat but mighty tasty, that one.
A New Jersey Devils fan cuts to the chase on former captain Zach Parise, and his decision to sign with the Minnesota Wild. Either that or he [expletive] hates Bobby Butler. Via Ron L.
Via Gray Wilcox, here’s a pre-trade deadline Foul from the Dallas Stars:
Ribeiro to Jagr? Points for creativity?
Totally. Turning the ‘63’ into a ‘68’ with tape? DIY goodness, and a nice Dead To Me Sweater as well.
Via Chris Gonsalves, this Toronto Maple Leafs Dead To Me Sweater turns a Luke Schenn relic into a James vanRiemsdyk tribute in a clunky, awkward, phonetically challenged way.
From the Capital of Jersey Fouls, Jesse Hightower writes:
Hate to rat out my own fanbase, but some are getting on my nerves lately for more than one reason.
The worst part about this Karl Alzner/John Carlson FrankenJersey is that the duo is no longer even paired together. They’ll need a “GREENZNER” jersey next season.
As you know, the Tampa Bay Lightning give their season ticket holders the customized jersey of their liking. This has led to some horrible decisions. Like this one, via Alexis Boucher of Sons of Andreychuk:
I was on the plaza before the Bolts/Hurricanes game on 3/16, enjoying a $2 beers when I saw this monstrosity. Her hair blocks it a bit, but the top reads "A Woman Divided". Then vertically has Pouliot 67 and Hedman 77. Blue name plates on the old black jersey. Vertical text. My head nearly exploded.
We can only assume the exploding head was a result of her retinas simultaneously being destroyed at nuclear meltdown temperatures.
These jerseys were worn by Boomer Esiason and his son to the New York Rangers’ Game 2 vs. the Boston Bruins. Before you get all nutty on the Foul stuff here, give a read:
Oops here are the jerseys for game 2 and beyond we'll auction them off at the end of the series for BostonStrong! twitter.com/7BOOMERESIASON…
— Boomer Esiason (@7BOOMERESIASON) May 18, 2013
OK, charity and a worthy cause trump the supreme Foul-ish nature of putting over Boston on a NY sweater.
And finally …
Sigh. Via Kevin:
Check out this beauty of a sweater spotted at the Texas Brahmas v. Missouri Mavericks CHL game in Fort Worth.
Just in case you needed a reminder as to why the ‘69’ jersey is a cancerous lesion on the buttocks of hockey fandom …
At the end of the Anaheim Ducks' 2013 NHL season, Kyle takes a look at rookie Right Wing Rickard Rakell's brief time with the Anaheim Ducks as well as his season with the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.
Warg, 23, appeared in 52 games with Vasteras of Sweden’s Allsvenskan this season, scoring a career-high 19 points with a +21 rating and 40 penalty minutes (PIM). Warg led team defensemen in scoring and assists, and ranked tied for second in goals.
For the next few weeks, we'll be doing a player by player analysis of regular and post season play. Find out who has been grounded for the summer, should be sent to military school or made prom king.
One day Lombardi will be the answer to a great trivia question: Who did the Ducks trade Brandon McMillan for? Nevermind, nobody will ever give a shit about that.
You'd think that 4 goals in 9 games could get you into more games. Bruce apparently thought differently.
Let us know by submitting a url: