After the surprise of not being extended a qualifying offer from the Chicago Blackhawks, Pius Suter has found a home with their historical arch-rivals. The Detroit Red Wings have announced a two-year contract for Suter, who recorded 27 points in 55 games as a rookie this season. Suter will earn $6.5MM total over the two years, his agent reveals on Twitter .
Suter, 25, made quite the impact as a rookie in Chicago, scoring 14 goals and 27 points in 55 games. He received a huge opportunity when Jonathan Toews missed the season due to illness and Kirby Dach was out with a broken wrist, playing way more than anyone ever expected. Those 14 points earned him some Calder Trophy votes and could have landed Suiter a substantial contract through arbitration. Instead, he’ll get a hefty deal from Detroit, where he could reunite with a couple of old junior teammates.
The Swiss forward went undrafted and spent five years in the NLA, but before that he played two seasons in the OHL with the Guelph Storm. The top line on that 2014 Storm team that won the OHL championship? Suter between Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi , who both happen to be in the Red Wings organization and could even potentially be a line this season. Bertuzzi of course is a restricted free agent and has been involved in trade rumors over the summer, but GM Steve Yzerman did say recently that they hope to keep him if possible.
Suter will be an unrestricted free agent again when this contract expires, and there’s certainly plenty of minutes up for grabs in Detroit. He’ll have a chance to really establish himself as a premiere UFA option if he can improve on that rookie season and post three straight quality campaigns.