The Ducks’ first move on the first day of free agency was not a free-agent signing but a trade. Veteran defenseman Kurtis Foster arrives from Edmonton in exchange for Andy Sutton, whose disappointing tenure in Anaheim ends after one season.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Foster is similar in size to Sutton (6-6, 245) but the two play different games. The 29-year-old Foster can help on the power play and has a booming shot that is effective when accurate. He scored eight goals each of the last two seasons, with Edmonton and Tampa Bay, and scored a career-high 10 goals in 58 games for the Minnesota Wild in 2005-06.
Foster also had 14 assists, 45 penalty minutes and a minus-12 rating last season in 74 games. In 331 career NHL games, Foster has 37 goals and 104 assists.
The Ducks lost Andreas Lilja to free agency when the Flyers gave the 35-year-old defenseman a three-year contract worth a reported $1.7 million. Including Foster, the Ducks have seven defensemen under contract.
Sutton was due to earn $2.25 million with a $2.125 million cap hit. Foster will earn $1.8 million in the final year of his contract.
In his lone season in Anaheim, Sutton had four assists, a plus-1 rating, and 87 penalty minutes in 39 games. The 36-year-old never found his place in the lineup after breaking his thumb in the first game of the regular season. Even when healthy Sutton was a regular in the press box, and also got caught in a couple minor skirmishes with teammates in practice.
Some other notable transactions Friday involved former Ducks:
James Wisniewski signed for six years and $33 million with Columbus.
Drew Miller re-signed for two years, $1.65 million with Detroit.
Sean O’Donnell signed for one year and $850,000 with Chicago.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to sign with the Colorado Avalanche, although a formal deal hasn’t been announced.