NHL Free Agency: The 3 best landing spots for Ryan Suter

Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Ryan Suter (20)
Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

These are the three best potential fits for veteran defenseman Ryan Suter in NHL Free Agency.

Both the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and NHL Entry Draft are in the books, leaving Free Agency as the last marquee event of what has been a wild offseason so far, and Ryan Suter will be one of a number of high-profile players looking for new homes.

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Suter was bought out by the Minnesota Wild, along with forward Zach Parise, earlier this month and he will now be free to sign with any NHL team once Free Agency opens on Wednesday, July 28, and there will be plenty of interested parties.

While he’s not at the peak of his powers anymore and, at the age of 36-years-old he’s closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning of it, Suter will still be a solid piece for a true Stanley Cup contender that needs depth on the backend.

He could be interested in taking a team-friendly deal if he has a legit shot at winning a championship – an opportunity he never really had during his nine years with the Wild – and the veteran will offer teams a lot of quality attributes on and off the ice.

For starters, he had a productive 2020-21 season with 19 points (3 G, 16 A) in 56 regular season games for Minnesota, while he still averaged 22:11 of total ice time per night and that will be a huge selling point for a lot of teams.

Plus, Suter boasts a wealth of experience in the National Hockey League, he’s a respected leader and he plays a hard-nosed game as well as being able to contribute offensively, and elite teams crave a two-way, top-four defenseman.

He’s also a veteran of 1,198 career regular season games in the NHL, in which he has recorded 607 points (93 G, 514 A), in addition to a further 31 points (6 G, 25 A) in 88 Stanley Cup Playoffs games.

Suter is certainly still a legit top-four blueliner in the NHL and he’s going to have a lot of options to consider this week when Free Agency opens, so we mapped out the three best potential destinations for the blueliner…

Three Best Landing Spots for Ryan Suter in NHL Free Agency

Ryan Suter (20)
Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

3. Colorado Avalanche

After trading Ryan Graves to the New Jersey Devils prior to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, the Avalanche need a left-shot defenseman to slot into their top four and they could make a real run at Ryan Suter.

Suter could be a perfect fit for the Avs given that he can be dominant at both ends of the ice as a two-way blueliner, and he would be incredibly effective and valuable in Head Coach Jared Bednar’s system.

Not only is the 36-year-old a big-body in his own zone – he dished out 38 hits and blocked 65 hits in 2020-21 – but he can also chip in with offense having put up three goals and 16 assists for 19 points in 56 games last season, which would have been 28 points in an 82-game season.

Not to mention the fact that Suter can slot in on the second power play unit as well as be a shutdown defenseman on the penalty kill, while he’s still capable of eating big minutes on a night-to-night basis.

Plus, with young stud defensemen on the roster in the likes of Cale Makar and Bowen Byram, the Avs would be injecting a wealth of experience and a true leader in the locker room in Suter, who will be a perfect role model for the younger players in the organization.