Pius Suter received the two-year NHL contract he wanted, but had to accept a significant pay cut to get it.
The Canucks signed Suter to a two-year $3.2 million deal with yearly salaries of $1.6 million. He earned $3.75 million playing for the Red Wings in 2022-23. That was part of a two-year contract that paid him $6.5 million over two seasons.
Sources said the Red Wings were interested in retaining Suter, but only on a one-year deal. He was looking for the security of a multi-year deal.
The Red Wings appreciated smaller center Suter’s versatility, and his all-around game. He can kill penalties, and move up and down the lines if needed. He can play on a scoring line or a checking line. Detroit coaches and teammates appreciated his professional approach..
The Vancouver Canucks have signed Pius Suter to a 2-year, $3.2M contract. ✍️ pic.twitter.com/L0hdkN5ijB
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 11, 2023
“He filled a lot of quality roles for us,” 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.”
But the Red Wings were also looking to get bigger, and Suter is only 5-foot-11 on a very tall day. He has been a consistent offensive contributor, scoring 14 or 15 goals in all three of NHL seasons. The Swiss native played a season with the Blackhawks before coming to Detroit.
The Canucks were looking for a forward who could provide some secondary scoring. The Red Wings knew they were making some changes and they needed roster spots.