Throwback Thursday: Gary Suter

By Josh Brink

Gary Suter became the first Chicago defenseman to register a hat trick in a playoff game on April 24, 1994 (Photo courtesy of

Gary Suter

Chicago Blackhawks Career – 1993 – 1998

Games – 301

Goals – 53

Assists – 126

PIM – 284

Calder Trophy Winner 1985-86 Season (Calgary Flames)

Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Gary Suter was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames during the 1984 Draft in the ninth round, 180th overall. This had finally come after being passed over on the previous two drafts due to his small size. This originally disappointed Brent Suter, not for the order he was drafted but rather because he got drafted the third around. He was in his final year of draft eligibility and had hoped to sign a lucrative contract as a free agent like other college players had after going undrafted.

After winning the Calder Throphy during the 1985-86 season and hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989 Gary Suter went on to play 9 great season for the Calgary Flames. It wasn’t until the 1994 season when he came to the Chicago Blackhawks after somewhat of a circus trade/event. Gary Suter, Paul Ranheim, and Ted Drury were sent to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for James Patrick, Zarley Zalapski, and Michael Nylander. Then one day later Gary Suter was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks along with Randy Cunneyworth and a draft pick for Frantisek Kucera and Jocelyn Lemieux.

After joining the Chicago Blackhawks his defensive skills were put into use and he was placed next to Chris Chelios creating the teams #1 defensive unit. He has been quoted giving Chris Chelios a lot of credit for his development as a top defenseman stating, “I’ve learned a lot defensively just from watching Chris Chelios in practice and getting pointers from him, just how to play odd-man rushes better: two-on-ones, three-on-ones.” Not only was Gary Suter a very good defensive player, he had a thing for scoring the puck occasionally or tallying an assist when the puck touched his stick in the offensive zone. Later in his stint with the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks he was plagued by the injury bug and his scoring saw a decrease in numbers but he still was ranked as one of the leagues top defenseman. (Quote courtesy of

Noteable accomplishments:

  • NHL All-Star (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1991)
  • 1996 World Championships – Gold
  • 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics – Silver
  • His 844 points are 4th most points by any American blueliner
  • Gary Suter became the first Chicago defenseman to register a hat trick in a playoff game on April 24, 1994

If you actually had the chance to listen or watch Gary Suter please share your comments below and give us your thoughts of him as a Hall of Fame Chicago Blackhawk!

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