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Isles' Sutton suspended for 2 games over hit

New York Islanders' Andy Sutton, left, smashes Pittsburgh

New York Islanders' Andy Sutton, left, smashes Pittsburgh Penguins' Pascal Dupuis, right into the boards in the third period. (Jan. 19, 2010) Credit: AP

Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton was suspended Wednesday by the league two games for his third-period hit on Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis Tuesday.

Forward Nate Thompson was placed on waivers in a roster move to make room for a defenseman from Bridgeport, expected to be Dustin Kohn.

Based on his yearly salary, Sutton, who had a disciplinary hearing with the league Wednesday, will forfeit $31, 088.08 in pay.

Sutton received a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct after hitting Dupuis from behind and hurling him face-first into the boards at 17:05 in the third period of the Islanders' 6-4 loss at Mellon Arena Tuesday.

Dupuis skated off with a towel held over his bloodied face after spending several minutes laying on the ice.

After the game, Sutton said he felt "awful" about the hit on his former teammate and "didn't intend for that to happen." Sutton will be eligible to return Jan. 26 against Washington.

While the 25 year-old Thompson was a gritty, hardworking, high-energy fourth-line player and penalty-killer, he was scratched the past four games.

"I don't know if I'm surprised [about being waived]," said Thompson, who had one goal and five assists in 39 games for the Islanders this season. "I think every guy on the team is prepared for if they became that guy on the bubble. It's tough on both sides and, unfortunately in hockey, there's a business side."

He thanked coach Scott Gordon and GM Garth Snow for the opportunity the past two seasons. "I have the utmost respect for Scott Gordon and Garth Snow for giving me an opportunity in the first place," Thompson said.

Thompson, who is on a two-way contract, has until noon Thursday to be claimed by another team. If he is not, he'll report to Bridgeport.

"Nate's played well for us. He's a good person and he's been a high-character guy for us. This by no means means that he can't be back with us at some point," Snow said.

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