The excitement within the Edmonton organization after Monday’s Mark Fistric trade was tempered slightly when GM Steve Tambellini updated the status of injured defenseman Andy Sutton.
“We don’t believe Andy will be playing this year,” said Tambellini, suggesting that Sutton’s serious knee injury will all but end his time in Edmonton — and perhaps his career.
Sutton, 37, inked a one-year, $1.75 million extension with the Oilers in February. The deal was largely in part to his 2011-12 campaign — the towering defenseman had 10 points in 52 games, finished plus-5, recorded 112 hits and averaged 16:41 of ice time, despite being sidelined by injury (he also missed 13 games to suspension.)
His latest injury is perhaps his most severe.
“I basically broke a chunk off my femur, the piece I broke off was giving me a lot of discomfort, so they went in and sort of cleaned up my knee and took out the chunk,” Sutton told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun in November. “Now, I have to repair the defect that’s there. Otherwise, it’ll just keep getting bigger.
“It’s bone on bone in two spots in my knee.”
Sutton’s still recovering from the procedure but, given the shortened season and wear and tear he’s accumulated over his 12-year career, it’s unlikely he’ll get healthy to participate in 2013.
And judging by his words during the lockout, it’s unlikely he’ll be back at all.
“I guess the road to recovery from [the knee injury] is quite long and arduous,” he explained. “So I don’t know, this is going to be my 12th surgery.
“I’m pretty tired of what I’ve done to my body.”