Since his buyout by the Minnesota Wild earlier this month, defenseman Ryan Suter has been one of the hot topics of discussions for NHL fans everywhere. Additionally, the 36-year-old blueliner has been drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Boston Bruins.
The interest from the B’s makes sense. They need a left-shot defenseman with experience that can also also play a shutdown style of hockey after losing Jeremy Lauzon to the Seattle Kraken. Suter fits this mold… well, at least used to.
Suter is still a pretty good defenseman. He’s become a better and smarter puck-mover over the years, however, his defense has tailed off. But maybe, in the B’s defense-first system, Suter to get back to his former self.
But, now with the recent report by Andy Strickland that Suter is seeking a four-year deal, the risk just doesn’t seem worth the reward.
For the Bruins, giving Ryan Suter a four-year deal should depend on the salary price.
Four years for a 36-year-old defenseman with as much mileage as Suter has is just crazy talk. However, this decision also depends on how much money Suter is asking for, which hasn’t been specified.
Personally, I wouldn’t give him deal that’s longer than two years. But, if he’s only asking for $1 million to $1.5 million per year, four years may be acceptable. But it’s definitely still a big risk to sign him that long.
Suter has managed to stay quite healthy throughout his career despite averaged over 25 minutes of ice time per game and blocking over 100 shots in nearly each season. His career-high for number of missed games in a season is only 12. Quite impressive.
However, at 36, this could always change and the team that signs him to a four-year deal may only really get a season out of the veteran blueliner.
When it first came out that the Black and Gold were interested in Suter, I figured it would be a short-term, cheap deal just as a stopgap until a prospect developed or the B’s could sign a better option in free agency. But it looks like Suter thinks he’s worth more than that and thinks he’ll be able to play another four years and remain healthy during that time.
Signing Suter for four years would just make zero sense for the B’s. They’re in win-now mode with just one or two more years of Cup contending for the current core. A veteran like Suter should only be signed for these one of two years, not any longer.
Additionally, it looks like Suter is going to want a significant payday as well. More than my preferred $1 million to $1.5 million. He’ll probably want somewhere in the $3 million- to $4 million-range.
If this is truly the case with Suter, the Bruins need to pass. Adding a 36-year-old defenseman at that term and price just isn’t worth it. Re-sign Mike Reilly and look somewhere else for a shutdown defenseman.