Ryan Suter Was a Bad Teammate Before Wild
For the majority of Ryan Suter’s time in Minnesota, he was hailed as a team leader. ‘Suts’ wore the Assistant Captain patch for the entirety of his time in a Wild sweater. Only late in his tenure did word start to leak about the consternation he was causing within the organization, before everything blew up when he was jettisoned from town.
But as it turns out, Ryan Suter’s childish and vindictive off-ice personality isn’t something that suddenly sprouted up during his time with the Minnesota Wild. Remember, Suter started his NHL career with the Nashville Predators and played there for 7 seasons. He signed with the Wild as a free agent in July of 2012.
Jason Arnott Not a Fan of Ryan Suter
“The attitude of Suts was night and day to Webs. All he would do is complain about, ‘how come he’s not on the power play’, ‘he doesn’t play enough’, ‘I can’t believe this guy is making this much money’. Webs, he was night and day. He wanted to learn and was super respectful and played hard. Two different dynamic of mentality of players.
I heard he was a huge distraction in that dressing room. Knowing Billy Guerin, he’s not putting up with that and he’s cleaning house. Now look at them. He’s built a phenomenal team and doesn’t have all that money money and distractions.”Jason Arnott – Cam and Strick Podcast
Jason Arnott played 18 seasons in the NHL and spent his early 30’s with the Nashville Predators, where he played with two of the best young defensemen in hockey, at the time. ‘Webs’ is Shea Weber who Arnott references during the clip above. Weber is now a 4-time All-Star and has been one of the better defensemen in the league for over a decade.
But from 2006-2010, Shea Weber was barely drinking age (21-24). Back then, Arnott wore the “C” in Nashville. When he left, following the 2009-2010 season, captaincy was passed to Weber. Suter, who was the exact same age as Weber and had played more NHL games up to that point, was relegated to wearing an “A”.
Some Things Never Change
New Minnesota Wild general manager, Bill Guerin, dealt with Ryan Suter for one season before giving up on the situation. To everyone’s surprise, he bought Suter out last offseason, along with Zach Parise. Guerin chose an average of $7 million in dead cap each season through 2024, over retaining a top-4 defenseman with a wealth of hockey experience and knowledge. If that doesn’t show how untenable the the locker room dynamic was, then read more about the divorce HERE.
What still blows my mind is how long it took for the public to find out who the real Ryan Suter was. Arnott played with Suter 15 years ago and knew he was an asshole. Yet, Suter was hailed as a great teammate and positive locker room presence when he was acquired and through almost all of his tenure in St. Paul.
It just goes to show how much pull Ryan Suter had while here. Whether it was owner, Craig Leipold, GM Chuck Fletcher or one of many Minnesota Wild media members; nobody wanted to out Ryan Suter’s locker room transgressions to the public. Maybe if they had, his stay wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan