Does Gary Suter Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Gary Suter is one of the top offensive defencemen in the history of the NHL. However, many of the defenders above Suter on the points list played at exactly the same time so, in context, his impressive offensive numbers don’t look so impressive.

We talk about Suter’s case here:

Career:

  • 1985-2002; 17 seasons, 15 quality
  • 203G (20th D All Time), 641A (14th D, 4th American D) for 844P (14th D, 4th American D), +126 in 1145 games; 21:37 ATOI (since 1998-99); 121.6 PS (23rd D All Time, 5th American D)
  • Suter is 15th All Time in Offensive Point Shares among D (4th American D)
  • Era: Of the 25 D to play in at least 1,000 games between 1985 and 2002, Suter is
    • 9th in Goals
    • 8th in Assists
    • 7th in Points, Plus/Minus, Offensive Point Shares
    • 11th in Defensive Point Shares
    • 9th in Point Shares
  • Draft: In his draft class (1984), Suter, drafted 180th overall, is
    • 13th in Goals
    • 4th in Assists
    • 7th in Points
    • 4th in Plus/Minus
    • 9th in Games
  • 82-game average: 15G, 46A for 61P, +9; 8.7 PS
  • 3-year Peak (1987-90): 82-game average of 19G, 68A for 87P, +26; 11.2 PS
  • No possession stats
  • Playoffs: 17G, 56A for 73P, -4 in 108 games; 17:45 ATOI (since 1998-99)
  • Adjusted: 194G, 601A for 795P
  • Adjusted 82-game average: 14G, 43A for 57P
  • Trades:
    • March 10, 1994: Traded to Hartford by Calgary with Paul Ranheim and Ted Drury for James Patrick, Zarley Zalapski and Michael Nylander.
    • March 11, 1994: Traded to Chicago by Hartford with Randy Cunneyworth and Hartford’s 3rd round choice (later traded to Vancouver – Vancouver selected Larry Courville) in 1995 Entry Draft for Frantisek Kucera and Jocelyn Lemieux. (Oof)
    • June 27, 1998: Traded to San Jose by Chicago for San Jose’s 9th round choice (Andrei Yershov) in 1998 Entry Draft.

Accomplishments:

  • Calder (‘86)
  • Top 5 in Norris voting once
  • Top 5 Player (by PS) once (‘88), Top 10 twice (‘95)
  • Top 5 Defensive Player (by DPS) once (‘95)
  • Scored 20 goals three times (1 of only 20 D ever), 15 goals five times
  • Tallied 70 assists once (1 of only 9 D ever), 60 assists twice (1 of only 14 D ever), 50 assists five times (1 of only 14 D ever), 40 assists eight times (1 of only 15 D ever)
  • Scored 90 points once (1 of only 8 D ever), 80 points twice (1 of only 18 D ever), 70 points four times (1 of only 12 D ever), 60 points  seven times (1 of only 14 D ever), 50 points eight times (1 of only 19 D ever)
  • Top 10 in Assists once
  • Top 10 in APG once
  • Top 5 in Plus/Minus once
  • 2nd Team All Star once, 1st Team All Rookie
  • 4 All Star Game appearances
  • Rookie of the Month once.

Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • Top 2 (by points) D on one Final Four (‘95 Hawks)
    • Top 4 D (by points) but injured on one Runner Up (‘86 Flames)
    • Injured on one Champion (‘89 Flames)
  • Olympics:
    • Role Player? (by points) on one Runner Up (‘02 USA)
  • World/Canada Cup:
    • Best D? (by points) on one Runner Up (‘91 USA)
    • Top 4? D (by points) on one Champion (‘96 USA)

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