Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Ryan Suter

Ryan Suter
198 lbs
Shoots: Left
Born: January 21, 1985
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin

Since he came into the league in 2005-06, Ryan Suter has been just about as solid as you can get in terms of defenseman in the NHL. He has played no less than 70 games a season. He has 5 straight seasons of scoring at least 30 points. And he carries a career +/- rating of +43. He is clearly, the right man to anchor the Wild blueline in the next decade.

Suter is not known for being a goal scorer (career high in goals in a season is 8). But that could be in part due to playing with an even better defenseman in Shea Weber all his years in Nashville. So now that Suter is free of Weber, you could perhaps see an increase in goal scoring now that his defensive partner will be Tom Gilbert.

Suter, as before mentioned is an iron man. He will play no less than 90% of the team's games. And last year, he was 3rd among all defenseman in time on ice by averaging 26:30 per game. Take into account his likely partner, Gilbert, averaged 31 shifts last year, you will see plenty of the two on the ice in the upcoming season.

Last year, the Wild seemingly shuffled a few players out there as the quarterback of their powerplay (Matt Cullen got the most time), due to lack of offensive defenseman (A big reason, in my opinion, that the Wild PP was atrocious in 11-12). Suter will now be stepping into that role, and moving whatever forward Mike Yeo wanted to put on the blue line, back to forward, and giving the Wild two bold power play lines. 

In addition to his skills, Suter is a proven leader. He served as alternate captain in Nashville the last few seasons, and will serve in the same capacity here in Minnesota. 

Ryan Suter is just about everything the Wild need in terms of a defenseman. And I for one am glad, he chose to take up residence in the State of Hockey for the next 13 years.

Welcome to the Team of 18,001: Ryan Suter

This is the fourth post in a five post series on the Wild's free agent signings this offseason. We have previously looked at Jake Dowell, Zenon Konopka, and Torrey Mitchell. Tomorrow will be our final installment in this series by taking a look at Zach Parise.

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