Allen: Suter’s looking out for #2

Updated 3x at 2:51 PM: Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen reports that new Red Wings center Pius Suter hopes to slide into the Wings’ #2 center slot behind Dylan Larkin:

The Detroit Red Wings haven’t said specifically that they intend to play Pius Suter as their No. 2 center. But that’s his plan.

“That should be my goal and is my goal,” the Swiss forward said Thursday in his introductory press conference with the media. “I have to, in the training camp and games, perform.  I have to make sure the coach gives me a chance and then I have to prove myself.”

The Red Wings have Dylan Larkin coming off injury, and there has no information of where he is at in his recovery. Michael Rasmussen is penciled in as the No. 3 center. Before the Red Wings persuaded Suter to sign a two-year deal for $3.250 million per season, the plan for the No. 2 center was either Joe Veleno stepping up, or perhaps Robbie Fabbri, Vladislav Namestnikov or a combination of all three.

But now they have added a center who netted 13 even-strength goals last season for the Blackhawks. His 14 total goals makes him the Red Wings top returning scorer. His goal-scoring total over the abbreviated 56-game season projects to 21 goals over an 82-game schedule. Suter is comfortable at both center and wing.

Continued (paywall);

Update: Here’s more from MLive’s Ansar Khan:

He said he was “a bit surprised” the Blackhawks declined to make him a qualifying offer.

“You get a feeling when you talk during the offseason, so I knew it might happen,” he said. “Maybe if it was earlier, it would have been less of a surprise. Not being qualified and then free agency starts quick. It was nice a lot of interest was around, so it means I did something right during the last few years.”

Suter said he had interest from other teams and wanted to decide the first day of free agency. He knew a little about the Red Wings from playing against them eight times during the temporary realignment in 2021 and tallying five goals and an assist.

“The way it works with the salary cap and the contract situations, hopefully if you play well, they want to keep you,” he said. “But I guess the situation didn’t work out and I’m happy I’m in Detroit.

“They got a lot of quick guys. As the season went on, they won more and more and proved that have some really good players. For me it worked out well to play against them.”

Update #2: Here’s a bit more from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

Suter, the way the roster is shaping up, slots in nicely into a second-line center role — maybe even with Fabbri and Bertuzzi.

Getting major minutes, with that sort of responsibility, would make Suter happy.

“For sure, that should be my goal,” Suter said. “There’s training camp and the games, and you have to perform and make sure the coach gives you a chance, and I have to prove myself.

“But definitely, that’s a goal in my mind.”

The fact Suter became a UFA Wednesday spurred a lot of interest around the NHL.

“I took it as a compliment,” he said. “I felt like I wanted to make a decision on the first day and didn’t want to wait too long as I originally thought (Suter would, or expected to wait). 

“There was no point in waiting (to make a choice).”

Update #3: Even more, from the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

Pius Suter’s outlook changed quickly from disappointment to opportunism. Rejected by one NHL team, free agency came as a balm, and a boon. The Detroit Red Wings sought scoring help, and Suter fit general manager Steve Yzerman’s plan: A young, skilled player who could be had on a short-term deal. If Suter pans out, great; if he struggles, the term is manageable.

For Suter, the two-year, $6.5 million deal represents a chance to solidify that be belongs in the NHL. Suter, who turned 25 in May, played five seasons in his native Switzerland before a very successful run with the Chicago Blackhawks this year. Attempts to land with the Ottawa Senators (2017) and New York Islanders (2018) had fizzled.

“One thing was to grow as a player, and then to get the opportunity,” Suter said. “Before when I went to those camps,  I always knew I’m going home after that. It was more about the experience — take it in, learn from it and see what I have to do better.

“And then it was just about getting the opportunity, get your foot in and show yourself. My development didn’t go crazy-high in one year, it was just kind of slow, keep going, and that’s what it’s been. That’s why I was a bit older when I got a chance.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

6 thoughts on “Allen: Suter’s looking out for #2”

  1. The way Veleno played late last season with the Wings and across the pond…HE SHOULD BE A SHOE IN for #3 Center and ahead of RAS.

    Ras will never get rid of being dead from the “place were the Sun don’t shine!). Veleno’s progression has been very good, Ras, Duh. Not a Ras fan and a BIG Veleno fan!

          1. Foggy here, LOL. I thought he had sort of 2. One were he should have been sent back to Jr and the Covid season. He really does need a Full season, like players that started in the NHL during the Short Covid Season.

            GR should be fun to watch for next 2 or 3 years.

  2. Rass is only 22. His biggest drawback is that Kenny drafted him.

    Nick Suzuki and Martin Needs came after him. I used to think KH knew what he was doing here but he did not do well under a salary cap.

    Let us see how he does in Oiler land. So far I am not impressed. He took over a good team with two great players and as yet has not improved it. At least in my opinion he hasn’t.

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