Former Detroit Red Wings forward Pius Suter lands in Vancouver

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Pius Suter recently signed a two-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks. The deal carries an average annual value (AVV) of just $1.6 million.

This seems like a very fair deal for both parties involved. Suter, 27, is an established bottom-six forward comfortable playing center or wing. He can help in all facets of the game; he’s an effective penalty killer and can be productive on the power play. Suter is also reliable but won’t wow you during even strength situations. His greatest appeal is that he’s a 200-foot player who can play up and down the lineup but is best suited as a bottom-six player. Suter has the capability to shoulder some of the more challenging assignments throughout the season, which will help free up the likes of Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller.

Last season, Suter, a Swiss Army Knife (see what I did there), totaled 14 goals and 24 points for the Detroit Red Wings. That came on the heels of a 15-goal, 36-point season. Suter is a player I often wavered on whether general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings should have extended down the stretch last season. Ultimately, Yzerman elected to bolster Detroit’s depth by adding center J.T. Compher, Christian Fischer, and Daniel Sprong instead. With the latest accusations regarding Sprong, one can’t help but wonder if bringing back Suter on a cheap deal like the one he just signed with Vancouver wouldn’t have been the better choice.

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Pius Suter lands in Vancouver.

Due to a rash of injuries throughout the year, Suter actually finished fifth in ice time among Red Wings’ forward last season. Suter is expected to be penciled in as Vancouver’s third-line center to begin the 2023-24 season.

In a statement on Friday, Vancouver GM Patrik Allvin said the team liked Suter’s versatility and the offensive punch he brings alongside his defensive game.

"“His flexibility to be able to play down the middle or on the wing will give Toc (head coach Rick Tocchet) more options when putting together his forward lines,” Allvin said."

In The Athletic’s (subscription) Net Rating model, Suter at $1.6 million per season is very fair. He grades out at +1 defensively and -5 offensively. His positive value probability is 53%, and the model suggests the perfect cap number for Suter is $1.8 million per season. So, the Canucks have good value here. Suter maintained a Corsi For Percentage of 45.5% last season and a -0.9 Relative Corsi For Percentage during even strength situations.

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Suter will find a familiar face in Filip Hronek, who the Detroit Red Wings traded to the Canucks last season ahead of the deadline when he arrives in Vancouver.