Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gary Suter
In 1984 Gary Suter had a job in a Madison, Wisconsin, beer plant lugging cases of beer. He'd been playing hockey for the University of Wisconsin Badgers when he learned that he'd just become the Calgary ninth pick and the 180th selection overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.

He won the Calder Trophy in 1985-86. In the 1987-1988 season, Suter led Calgary in assists with 70, a career high, and also set a career high of 91 points. He scored a point in each of 16 straight games and was a nominee for the Norris Trophy for best defenceman. For six consecutive years, Suter ranked fourth among NHL defenders. Suter also competed for his native land, the U.S., in the World Championship in 1985.

Suter helped the Flames to the Stanley Cup finals against Montreal in 1986 but victory eluded them. But he was a member of the 1989 Stanley Cup Champion Flames team.

In 1994 Calgary traded Suter to Hartford and the next day traded again to Chicago by Hartford. He played with Chicago for four years until San Jose signed him as a free agent on July 1, 1998.

The Sharks management and team members had been in a state of high anticipation for months over the prospects of having the mobile, hard-hitting defenceman dress in San Jose teal. Once the Blackhawks traded for Paul Coffey, the Sharks realized that the hockey decision-makers in the Windy City were getting ready to get rid of Suter. So at the NHL Entry Draft on June 27th, San Jose cleverly and quietly traded a ninth-round pick to Chicago for the rights to negotiate with Suter a few days early.

It isn't difficult to imagine that the Sharks were excited about the possibility of acquiring him. In 918 career NHL games with the Flames and Blackhawks, he has amassed 744 points and 1,156 penalty minutes. He has played in four All-Star games and was part of the U.S. World Cup championship team of 1996. In 1995-96, Suter became the first Hawks defenceman to score 20 goals since former Blackhawk great and original Sharks captain Doug Wilson had accomplished the feat six seasons earlier.

Upon his arrival in San Jose, Suter would miss the better part of the season due to injury before returning for three more seasons before retiring at the end of the 2001-02 seasons. Throughout his 17-year NHL career, Gary Suter played in 1,145 games, finished with 845 points and was a member of the U.S. silver medal winning team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1981-82 Culver Academy Eagles High-IN
1981-82 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 18 3 4 7 32
1982-83 Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL 41 9 30 39 112
1983-84 University of Wisconsin WCHA 35 4 18 22 32
1983-84 United States WJC-A 7 1 1 2 12
1984-85 University of Wisconsin WCHA 39 12 39 51 110
1984-85 United States WEC-A 10 1 2 3 22
1985-86 Calgary Flames NHL 80 18 50 68 141 +11 10 2 8 10 8
1986-87 Calgary Flames NHL 68 9 39 48 70 -10 6 0 3 3 10
1987-88 United States Can-Cup 5 0 3 3 9
1987-88 Calgary Flames NHL 75 21 70 91 124 +39 9 1 9 10 6
1988-89 Calgary Flames NHL 63 13 49 62 78 +26 5 0 3 3 10
1989-90 Calgary Flames Fr-Tour 4 0 1 1 2
1989-90 Calgary Flames NHL 76 16 60 76 97 +4 6 0 1 1 14
1990-91 Calgary Flames NHL 79 12 58 70 102 +26 7 1 6 7 12
1991-92 United States Can-Cup 8 1 3 4 4
1991-92 Calgary Flames NHL 70 12 43 55 128 +1
1991-92 United States WC-A 6 0 1 1 6
1992-93 Calgary Flames NHL 81 23 58 81 112 -1 6 2 3 5 8
1993-94 Calgary Flames NHL 25 4 9 13 20 -3
1993-94 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 16 2 3 5 18 -9 6 3 2 5 6
1994-95 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 48 10 27 37 42 +14 12 2 5 7 10
1995-96 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 82 20 47 67 80 +3 10 3 3 6 8
1996-97 United States W-Cup 6 0 2 2 6
1996-97 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 82 7 21 28 70 -4 6 1 4 5 8
1997-98 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 73 14 28 42 74 +1
1997-98 United States Olympics 4 0 0 0 2
1998-99 San Jose Sharks NHL 1 0 0 0 0 0
1999-00 San Jose Sharks NHL 76 6 28 34 52 +7 12 2 5 7 12
2000-01 San Jose Sharks NHL 68 10 24 34 84 +8 1 0 0 0 0
2001-02 San Jose Sharks NHL 82 6 27 33 57 +13 12 0 4 4 8
2001-02 United States Olympics 6 0 1 1 4 +3
NHL Totals 1145 203 641 844 1349 108 17 56 73 120


NHL All-Rookie Team (1986)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1986)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1988) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1986, 1988, 1989, 1991)
Traded to Hartford by Calgary with Paul Ranheim and Ted Drury for James Patrick, Zarley Zalapski and Michael Nylander, March 10, 1994. Traded to Chicago by Hartford with Randy Cunneyworth and Hartford's 3rd round choice (later traded to Vancouver - Vancouver selected Larry Courville) in 1995 Entry Draft for Frantisek Kucera and Jocelyn Lemieux, March 11, 1994. Traded to San Jose by Chicago for San Jose's 9th round choice (Andrei Yershov) in 1998 Entry Draft, June 27, 1998.
Missed majority of 1998-99 due to tricep muscle injury vs. Dallas, October 24, 1998.
Officially announced his retirement, September 10, 2002.