ST. PAUL -- A few years after shattering his ankle along the boards at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, veteran defenseman Ryan Suter will call that building home.
Yes, after being blindsided earlier this month when Wild general manager Bill Guerin called to inform him of his buyout, the 36-year-old Suter has decided to continue his career with a division rival. He signed a 4-year, $14.6 million contract with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, turning the page after a sour ending with the Wild.
While his ice time with the Wild decreased over the past couple of seasons, there’s no doubt Suter can still contribute at a high level. He played 56 games for the Wild last season, skating exclusively on the top pairing with captain Jared Spurgeon.
“He has a huge influence on the game with his ability to diffuse plays, which injects a sense of calmness into his teammates,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a release, noting that Suter will play a significant role on the blue line. “He is able to play in every situation, and as a veteran of 16 NHL seasons, his wealth of experience will be a great addition to our dressing room.”
Since entering the league with the Nashville Predators in 2005, Suter leads defenseman across the league with 1,198 games played. He has 607 points (93 goals, 514 assists) for his career, spending much of the past decade with the Wild.
It’s worth noting that the Wild host the Stars on Nov. 18 at the Xcel Energy Center. No doubt Suter will be looking to exact some sort of revenge against his former team.
Losing Ian Cole
Talking to Guerin over the weekend, it seemed like he had already come to grips with the fact that he might lose veteran defenseman Ian Cole in free agency. That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday as Cole signed a 1-year, $2.9 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes.
“We had great dialogue with Ian up until the end when he signed in Carolina,” Guerin said. “Like I said before, I’ve got tons of respect for Ian. He’s a great guy and a great teammate. I wish it could’ve worked out here for him. But sometimes it’s a timing thing. He’s going to be a great addition to that team.”
Wild trade Menell
Less than an hour before free agency opened up on Wednesday, the Wild traded the rights to defenseman Brennan Menell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in next year’s draft. If the 24-year-old Menell plays at least 30 games for the Maple Leafs next season, the Wild get to keep the draft pick.
“He needs a change,” Guerin said. “Just wasn’t a fit anymore and we’re not into holding guys back. It’s good for him that he got a change.”
Minor league additions
Aside from adding defenseman Alex Goligoski and center Frederick Gaudreau to the NHL roster Wednesday, the Wild also filled out their AHL roster with the signings of defenseman Joe Hicketts, defenseman Jon Lizotte, and center Dominic Turgeon.