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Name: Gary Suter

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Height: 6-0

Weight: 205

Born: 6/24/64 in Madison, Wisconsin

Drafted: 9th Round (180 overall) by the Flames in 1984

Number: 20

Salary: $2.9 million


1986 NHL All-Rookie Team
1986 Calder Memorial
1988 Western Conference All-Star Team
1989 Stanley Cup
1991 Western Conference All-Star Team
1996 Western Conference All-Star Team


Scouting Report:

The Finesse Game
Suter has great natural skills, starting with his skating. He's secure on his skates with a wide stance for balance. He has all of the components that make a great skater: acceleration, flat-out speed, quickness and mobility. He skates well backwards and can't be bested one-on-one except by the slickest skaters. He loves to jump into the attack, and he'll key a rush with a smooth outlet pass or carry the puck and lead the parade. Suter has a superb shot. It's not scary-hard, but he keeps it low. Not a great playmaker, his creativity comes from his speed and dangerous shot. He can handle some penalty-killing time, though it is not his strong suit.

The Physical Game
Suter may be one of the least-known dirty players in the NHL. Sure, Bryan Marchment gets all the bad press for his knee-to-knee checks, but it was Suter whose hit in the 1991 Canada Cup was the start of Wayne Gretzky's back troubles, and Suter's stick to the head of Paul Kariya has threatened that brilliant star's career. For that act of villainy, Suter served an entire four-game suspension. Ooh, bet he's sure learned his lesson. So don't look for his name among the Lady Byng candidates. Like Chelios, Suter is a marathon man who can handle 30 minutes of ice time a game and not wear down. He is exceptionally fit. He can get carried away with the hitting game and will take himself out of position, even when penalty killing. He doesn't like to be hit; he'll bring his stick up at the last second before contact to protect himself. His defensive reads are average to fair.

The Intangibles
Suter is a notch below the league's elite defensemen, but he can handle a lot of responsibility. As one of the veterans on a young Sharks defence, he will get a big chunk of power-play time. He may struggle at even-strength. All of those intradivsional games with Anaheim should be mighty interesteing.

Suter could power his way back into the 55- to 60-point range.


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