The Oilers' trade deadline plan

Updated: February 9, 2012, 11:45 AM ET
By Craig Custance

Most of his teammates were long gone, back at the hotel getting ready for their game that night. But Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton remained on the ice, putting in a healthy game-day skate, getting in a good workout with assistant coaches and a couple of the other healthy scratches.

The Oilers have eight healthy defensemen with Tom Gilbert back in the lineup, and Sutton was one of the odd men out. While watching him put in extra work, you couldn't help but think his time in Edmonton was winding down. Maybe that was part of their plan in holding him out. Keep him healthy.

Sutton is the prototypical trade deadline addition for playoff contenders. He's an unrestricted free agent after this season playing on a team out of the playoff hunt. He's a veteran defenseman who immediately brings experience and a physical edge (and a 6-foot-6 presence) to any team that adds him. He has competed in the postseason with Atlanta, Anaheim and Ottawa, with the Senators acquiring him at the deadline in a deal with the Islanders in 2010.

Another deadline trade may just happen again.