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Red Wings Review: Pius Suter’s Future

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Pius Suter, Red Wings

Detroit Hockey Now’s Red Wings Review series is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2022-23 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the recently-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature Pius Suter

Pius Suter

Position: Center

2022-23 totals (GP-G-A-PTs-): 79-14-10-24

Contract Status: Will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) this summer

Season Synopsis

As members of the media have started to project what NHL teams will do this summer in the free agent market, we’ve already seen Pius Suter’s name mentioned with several teams. It appears he has more than enough admirers to get a new deal.

It’s understandable. There’s plenty to like about Suter’s game. Consistency. Versatility. Responsibility.  Durability. High hockey IQ. That’s Suter. He has played three seasons in the NHL and managed to score 14 or 15 goals in each of those seasons. He has only missed three games total in his two seasons with Detroit.

His 29 goals over two seasons with Detroit is a noteworthy total considering that the Red Wings have been a below average offensive team and Suter only played off and on with the team’s most skilled players.

Suter can kill penalties, play on the power play and check. Detroit coaches respect the fact that he can do plenty of things that can help the Red Wings.

“He filled a lot of quality roles for us,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “That’s certainly a credit for him. A lot of it out of necessity and a lot of it a credit to him. Very useful player. Where he fits in going into the future, where he fits in in the league, I don’t know. That’s the layer, management-coach. But obviously, the way I used him down the stretch speaks volumes for what he did for us. So we’ll see where that goes going forward.”

2022-23 Red Wings Highlights

Suter netted five goals during a five-game Red Wings’ road trip from Feb. 13 to Feb. 21. That included a two-goal game against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 21. He had a two-assist game March 28 in a home game against Pittsburgh. He had three multiple-point games on the season.

2022-23 Red Wings Lowlight

From Nov. 8 to Dec. 29, Suter scored one goal in a span of 22 games.  He only registered four assists during the goal drought.

 What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

GM Steve Yzerman isn’t an open book when it comes to contract negotiations. All we know for sure is that Suter is unsigned after July 1. Maybe the Red Wings are interested, but not at the salary Suter believes he can fetch if he enters the free agent market.

The other issue is Suter is a smaller player and the Red Wings are hoping to add some bigger, more physical players this summer. They want more push-back from their roster. That’s not Suter’s game.  Plus, they need roster spots for the newcomers they are planning to bring in.

The other possibility, and Yzerman has talked about doing this with some players, he wants to explore his options before he commits to a new deal. It seems like a sound, logical approach for a rebuilding team.

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The Red Wings show more than $30 million in cap space for next season, but they have several players to add, or sign, this summer. Plus, they have Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond and Michael Rasmussen coming up for new deals in 2024.  Suter is making $3.25 million this season.  Money is always part of the equation.