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Red Wings Role Call: Pius Suter’s Detroit Future

Pius Suter was brought in by the Detroit Red Wings to fill the second-line center role and did so with mixed results



Pius Suter, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings signed center Pius Suter as an unrestricted free agent from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature center Pius Suter

Pius Suter

Position: Center

2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 82-15-21-36

Contract Status: One year remaining at $3.25M AAV

Season Synopsis

Suter was one of three Red Wings to suit up for all 82 games during the 2021-22 season. Signed as an unrestricted free agent, Suter wasn’t tendered by Chicago following a 14-goal rookie season with the Blackhawks. The Wings saw Suter slotting in behind captain Dylan Larkin as the club’s No. 2 center.

“He’s one of our better offensive players in terms of a guy who can play with good players and make skilled plays with them,” former Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Suter. “And he’s responsible defensively.”

2021-22 Red Wings Highlights

Uniting Suter with his former OHL Guelph Storm teammates Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri on a line was an instant hit. Bertuzzi supplied the tenacity and ability to physically win pucks that the smaller Suter and Fabbri simply weren’t physically capable of delivering on a persistent basis. Suter produced 4-7-11 totals in a 14-game span from Nov. 24-Jan. 4.

2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights

He didn’t score his first goal as a Red Wing until the eighth game of the season.

Suter went 11 games without a point from Feb. 12-March 15. He was minus-8 during that span.

What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

That one of the items of the shopping list of Detroit GM Steve Yzerman is an experienced No. 2 center is a true tell of where things stand with Suter. There’s no doubt that he’s a useful player with high-end hockey IQ. However, his slight 5-foot-9, 176-pound build led to Suter being overmatched against some of the NHL’s heavier teams.

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In the long run, Suter is probably better suited as a No. 3 center so he’s not consistently matching up with bigger and stronger players. “I think there was a period of time in which he dipped a little bit,” Blashill said of Suter’s performance. “I just think it’s learning to be that every day, game in and game out. He’s done a good job of coming back from that when he’s had those dips.

“Certainly the more consistent you are, probably one of the biggest keys in this league is being able to do it night in and night out. I think other than that, his game’s in a pretty good spot. He’s a good player and I think it’s important sometimes to instead of worrying about how you grow, worrying about how you really stay and continue to be a real solid player and he’s done a good job of that.”