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Andy Sutton Suspended 8 Games For Hit On Alexei Ponikarovsky

Brendan Shanahan's decision has come down - Andy Sutton will sit for eight games as a result of his hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky - a play where the 6'4" Sutton left his feet to hit Ponikarovsky in the head. 8 games is in line with what was expected for this type of infraction and Sutton's status.

The effects on the Oilers remain to be seen - they've been without Sutton for an extended period once already this season and have relied on Colten Teubert and Theo Peckham to fill the void. They've not been able to do so effectively and as a result have forced Tom Renney to lean on Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid to an even greater degree.

Sutton's extended detention may be mitigated by the return of Corey Potter from injury. Potter is a week away from rejoining the team, and though he's not been utilized on the penalty kill to any degree, the combination of Potter playing 20 minutes per game and Ryan Whitney regaining his feet should be enough to fill the hole left by Sutton's suspension.

As for Sutton, the suspension isn't going to have an effect on his game - Sutton has demonstrated a proclivity for these types of hits regardless of the punishment.