Pittsburgh Penguins v Edmonton Oilers

Andy Sutton announces retirement from NHL


Veteran defenseman Andy Sutton is hanging up his skates.

Sutton, 38, announced his retirement through the National Hockey League Players’ Association on Wednesday.

“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,”Sutton said. “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.”

The towering blueliner — Sutton went 6-foot-6, 245 pounds — played in 676 games over a 15-year career with seven different clubs. He registered 1,134 hits, 1,164 blocked shots and 1,185 penalty minutes, scoring 38 goals and 112 assists for 150 points.

Sutton was in the final year of a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Oilers in 2013, but didn’t appear in a single contest due to a knee injury.

Last November, Sutton spoke with ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun about that injury and the wear and tear his body took over the course of his career.

“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 explained. “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.

“I guess the road to recovery from that is quite long and arduous 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.”

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

Craig Anderson
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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.