Wild's Suter follows in father's footsteps

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There aren't many fathers out there that wouldn't be proud of a son who has accomplished as much in his career as Ryan Suter has.

"I mean, it's kind of a dream come true," says Ryan's father Bob Suter.

Ryan is widely regarded as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. He is an Olympic silver medalist, and is now on the Olympic men's hockey team for a second time. His father never played in the NHL and owns and runs a rink in Madison, Wisconsin.

"He's a pretty quiet guy," says Ryan. "He doesn't say too much about different things."

Certainly not about the one aspect of his hockey life in which he is more accomplished than his son; his Olympic gold medal.

Bob was a member of the 1980 team that won gold in Lake Placid. As you might expect with his demeanor, his gold medal doesn't hang in an ornate box, or hang at all

"It's probably sitting in his underwear drawer," jokes Ryan.

That is, when it's not being used as the most epic show-and-tell ever.

"Basically it's in a drawer somewhere," says Bob. "I bring it to the rink when there is tournaments."

"It was more of the teachers telling me, bring in your dad's medal we want to see it," Ryan recounts. "You know I've got a lot of stories just leaving it at school for a week at a time in my locker."

That's not to say the medal means nothing to the Suters, quite the contrary. Bob and Ryan are just men of few words. Still more than 30 years later Bob says their victory over the Russians is a moment that never dies.

"When that horn went off it was unbelievable," Bob remembers. "It's like we had just won the Olympics."

Ryan's Olympic dreams fell just short in 2010 with a late game dramatic loss to Canada, one that, like his father's victory in the games, still sticks with him.

"Obviously you look back on it and think what could you do differently," says Ryan. "But I don't think it's really sunk in how close we were."

Or just how hard it will be to get back. Not since 1980 has the U.S. won gold in Olympic hockey. And while Bob and Ryan are members of a very select group of fathers and sons to play in the Olympics, they would like to become even more elite by both winning a gold, which, in fitting Suter fashion, would both be kept in their respective sock drawers.


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