The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Ryan Suter to a four-year deal worth $14.6 million, just weeks after his stunning exit from the Twin Cities. Suter’s deal will have an annual average salary cap hit of $3.65 million per year.
Suter’s previous contract, which was originally signed in 2012 with the Minnesota Wild as a 13-year, $98 million behemoth of a deal, was bought out by the club on July 13. That made the 36-year-old an unrestricted free agent as soon as the signing period opened today, and he immediately signed with Dallas. He had 19 points and was a plus-9 in 56 games last season.
Prior to signing with the Wild Suter spent seven seasons with the Nashville Predators.
Suter Still Has Plenty Left in the Tank
Despite his relatively low point output last season, Suter was still one of the most reliable blue liners in Minnesota, He finished third in plus/minus amongst Wild defensemen (and eighth overall on the team) with a plus-nine, his best output since a plus-34 campaign in 2016-17. There was a lot of interest in Suter from the moment his contract was bought out, but in the end, he was a natural fit with the Stars.
Suter was effective on the ice last season with the Wild, recording a Corsi-For percentage of 48.0, good for seventh-best on the team among players who logged at least five appearances. He’s got a unique opportunity with the Stars to start fresh — on a contender, no less.
Fit With the Stars
Suter will fit in well with Dallas, a playoff-caliber team, signing with the Stars after reportedly having discussions with multiple camps, including the Florida Panthers. Having just lost defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Seattle Kraken in the NHL Expansion Draft, there was an immediate need to round out their top-4 defensemen, which they certainly did with this pickup.
The only question mark for Dallas revolves around the length of the deal, and what type of return the team will receive. Though they awarded him a four-year contract, which was reportedly the exact length Suter was seeking, he will be 40 years old at the time the contract expires, so anything beyond this season is anyone’s guess.
For now, though, this fills the need for the Stars heading into the 2021-22 season.
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.