Fantasy Take: Ryan Suter is now Defending Big D

Michael Clifford

2021-07-28

With Stephen Johns retiring and Jamie Oleksiak moving on to Seattle, the Stars were in dire straits for their blue line. That is a huge, huge problem for a team that is pushing for a Stanley Cup this year.

Dallas has attempted to solidify their back-end a bit by signing veteran defenceman Ryan Suter to a four-year deal. The signing is as follows:

As far as the AAV goes, that's not too bad at all. For the team, four years is probably too much considering he'll be in his 40's when the deal runs out. On the other hand, they probably only care about the next season or two before they have to reload and Suter is off again somewhere else. For fantasy purposes, his cap hit is a lot more palatable now than it was six months ago.

So, what kind of player is Dallas getting? Let's dig in.

Suter is definitely not the player he was five years ago. Back in the mid-2010s, Suter was over one standard deviation above average in both defensive and offensive impacts. That means he was well inside the 80th percentile both driving offence and defence, and that made him a complete top-pair defenceman. There is a reason that despite his never having won a Norris Trophy, Suter finished in the top-10 for voting six years running from 2011-2017.

But that was five years ago. Now, his defensive impacts have fallen off. As a left-shooting defenceman, he'll be behind Miro Heiskanen on the depth chart at even strength, and it's doubtful he sees much PP time with Miro, John Klingberg, and Esa Lindell around. For that reason, it's hard to see Suter having much threat of a 40-point season. He played a little over 22 minutes a season last year and that should roughly be his cap for this year.

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