Ryan Suter Refuses to Leave the Central Division

Ryan Suter - St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday will mark the three year anniversary (July 13, 2021) of the infamous Ryan Suter / Zach Parise buyouts, which the Minnesota Wild are still paying for. Altogether, those buyout penalties will cost the Wild $15 million against their salary cap in 2024-25.

Former Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter finds (another) his new team

So it was fitting this evening, when Suter signed a one-year deal with his fourth NHL team. And guess who he signed with? Yet another MN Wild Central Division rival, the St. Louis Blues.

A couple of weeks ago, the 39-year-old grizzled veteran was written into the NHL history books when the Dallas Stars made him just the second player ever to be bought out two times during his career. But immediately, it became pretty clear that he had little interest in retirement.

Related: Ryan Suter Was a Bad Teammate Before Wild

Another thing that Ryan Suter has little interest in? Leaving the Central Division. As mentioned earlier, the St. Louis Blues will mark the fourth team of Suter’s NHL career. If you haven’t noticed, all four of them (Predators, Wild, Stars and Blues) play in the Central. He just refuses to leave.

9 yrsMINNHL656553143696227127:02
7 yrsNSHNHL542382002384339622:37
3 yrsDALNHL246126274159420:59
Career19 yrsNHL144410557668112076124:21
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/10/2024.

What are the St. Louis Blues getting in geriatric Ryan Suter?

Last season with the Stars, Suter played a top-4 defensive role and averaged 18:56 minutes of time on ice. He was certainly still capable, but his numbers showed a clear decline. The Madison, WI native potted just two goals and found teammates for just 15 others. 17 points was Suter’s lowest since his rookie season back in 2005-2006.

Related: Bill Guerin Chose Cap Hell Over “Uncoachable” Ryan Suter and Zach Parise

In his final season with the Minnesota Wild (2020-21), Suter played just 56 games… yet still managed 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists). During his first two seasons in Dallas, Suter averaged over 22 minutes per night and scored a total of 57 points, nearly 10 more points more per season than what he managed last year.

Nonetheless, Suter remains a worthy defenseman, even into his age 40 season. There was no doubt Suter would find another team. Too bad he doesn’t want to start his early retirement in Florida or something, though…

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