Islanders trade Andy Sutton to Senators for San Jose's 2nd pick

The Islanders traded Andy Sutton to the Ottawa Senators "for a 2nd round pick that previously belonged to San Jose."

That is the extent of the return, so this will be a pick very late in the 2nd round, given the Sharks' position near the top of the league standings. (Funny how the Isles like to take the Sharks', um, "seconds" via Ottawa.) I now have -- in addition to wishing failure of Dan(n)y Heatley -- a new reason to root for the Sharks' demise.

What this tells us is either:

(1) Reports of Garth Snow weighing multiple offers of a 2nd were part of the usual trade deadline misdirection and tomfoolery, or (2) Whoever else was offering a 2nd-rounder saw the direction of the market and the number of defensemen available and pulled back. What we know for sure is that this was the best Snow thought he could get for the pending unrestricted free agent, after plenty of time to case the league for offers.

This is not a thrilling trade by any means: Just cashing in your UFA for an extra pick this summer. Some fans already wish Sutton had been re-signed instead, but we don't know what kind of offers and terms were exchanged between Snow and Sutton's agent. Sutton will be 35 next month, so that's an area where you'd wisely tread lightly -- particularly if his injury history concerns you. During Sutton's lucrative three-year contract here, the most games he played in a single season was 58 -- a total he was four games from equaling this season.

It is funny to scan the initial reactions around the Web, and it's perhaps telling about Sutton's market value: So many people view Sutton based on his form of a few years ago (on that note, you might check out my own list of myths about Sutton), whereas this year he's actually been a pretty useful defender who should improve Ottawa's blueline.

The final evaluation for this deal can come when we see who else makes a move for a defenseman this year. But at this point, know that every trade is at the mercy of who's buying and who's selling. Yesterday, for example, it was Jordon Leopold for Pittsburgh's 2nd, while Nashville picked up Denis Grebeshkov -- importantly, Grebeshkov's rights are held beyond this year -- for their own 2nd. Neither of those teams, it seems, had any interest in Sutton, while most teams with the higher picks in the 2nd-round have no business renting a UFA defensemen because they are, by definition, not playoff-bound.

That, what say you? Good deal? Ho-hum deal? About what was expected? A disaster that shall not go unpunished?

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