Ryan Suter and Zach Parise were the big prizes of the 2012 free agent class, and the Minnesota Wild landed them both, with the duo signing matching 13-year (!!!), $98 million deals.
Time comes for us all, and today, the July 4, 2012 prizes are finding themselves on the open market: the Wild announced that both Suter and Parise will be bought out of the last four years of their deals.
NEWS: #mnwild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the club will buy out the final four years of the contracts of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) July 13, 2021
More information » https://t.co/hd3D1naoA0 pic.twitter.com/04tHQ6T88p
Minnesota made this move for a few reasons, including needing space to sign Kirill Kaprizov and a few others.
Still, that’s a lot of dead space for one team to eat...but could it benefit the Bruins?
Before we continue, let’s establish that two things can be true: Ryan Suter is not the defenseman he once was, but Ryan Suter can still be an effective defenseman.
If you’re looking at Suter from a Bruins perspective, it’s easy to see why he might appeal to Don Sweeney & Company: left-shot (check), eats minutes (check), experienced (check).
The 36-year-old Suter has been durable over the course of his career as well, rarely missing more than a handful of games in a season.
The big question: is he any good?
The smart people seem to think he has gas left in the tank, provided it’s in the right spot:
Ryan Suter, bought out by MIN, is still a very strong offence driver but he's been carried defensively by his partners in recent years. Plays big tough minutes and should be a heavily-desired UFA. #mnwild pic.twitter.com/Eb3kKM4SRs— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 13, 2021
Here's Ryan Suter's timeline since 2014-15. Two-way game eroded but consistently effective at one end at least. pic.twitter.com/NNImbFQKYN— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 13, 2021
Ryan Suter is obviously in decline and not worth his current price, but still projects to be a top pair defenceman going into next season. There is significant downside going forward that he can completely fall off at any minute, but his deal wasn't exactly an albatross. pic.twitter.com/hgWvjasUT3— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) July 13, 2021
The concern, of course, is that Suter’s slowdown appears to have most negatively affected his defensive game, which...is kind of the part the Bruins need.
It’s also worth noting that as mentioned in the Tweets above, Suter likely benefited from playing with a guy like Jared Spurgeon.
However, Suter was still being asked to play top-pairing minutes for a team; do those defensive metrics look a bit better if he’s playing against lesser competition?
Hard to say.
In any case, the Bruins would be wise to at least kick the tires on Suter. Given that he’s already made a boatload of money and is in the twilight of his career, they may be able to give him a “take one or two last shots at a Cup” type deal with short term and reasonable money.
While he may not be a defenseman of the future for the B’s, he could be a slightly less expensive option at left defense than acquiring someone on the trade market.
Potentially, you could be looking at:
Grzelcyk - McAvoy
Suter - Carlo
Your thoughts? Worth a shot, or has the Suter ship sailed?