Bob Suter

Robert Allen Suter (May 16, 1957 – September 9, 2014) was an American professional ice hockey defenseman and member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team who won the gold medal.[citation needed]

Bob Suter
Born (1957-05-16)May 16, 1957
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died September 9, 2014(2014-09-09) (aged 57)
Middleton, Wisconsin, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 179 lb (81 kg; 12 st 11 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Left
Played for Tulsa Oilers
Nashville South Stars
National team  United States
NHL Draft 120th overall, 1977
Los Angeles Kings
WHA Draft 58th overall, 1977
Birmingham Bulls
Playing career 1978–1982
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1980 Lake Placid Team

He was the brother of former National Hockey League (NHL) player Gary Suter and father of current NHL player Ryan Suter. Another son, Garrett, played for the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. His nephew Jeremy Dehner is a defenseman with most of his career spent in European professional leagues.[citation needed]

Amateur careerEdit

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Suter attended Madison East High School. He played college hockey at University of Wisconsin–Madison and was a member of the 1977 NCAA hockey champion Wisconsin Badgers. He was mostly noted for his rough play, setting several Badger records for penalty minutes before leaving in 1979. He initially joined the Tulsa Oilers under a tryout contract for a few games in late 1979, but soon joined the 1980 US Olympic hockey team on a full-time basis, where he won the gold medal.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Suter was selected with the 120th pick in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL and also 58th overall in the 1977 World Hockey Association draft by the Birmingham Bulls. He rejected Los Angeles' contract offer following the 1980 Olympics, and instead sat out 1980–81 season to become an unrestricted free agent. He came out of retirement in the spring of 1981 to play for the United States team at the 1981 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Stockholm. Suter signed with the Minnesota North Stars as unrestricted free agent in 1981, but spent the entire 1981–82 season in the Central Hockey League with the Nashville South Stars farm team. He retired in 1982 without playing a single game in the NHL.

Post playing careerEdit

Suter returned to Madison after his retirement and opened a sporting goods store called Gold Medal Sports. He also coached youth hockey in Madison after his retirement and became a part-owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin. Ten months after Suter's death the Capitol Ice Arena was renamed in his honor and is now known as "Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena." [2]


Suter died on September 9, 2014, of a heart attack suffered at Capitol Ice Arena.[1] He is the first player from the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to die.

In popular cultureEdit

Suter was not featured in a 1981 TV movie about the 1980 U.S. hockey team called Miracle on Ice, except in archival footage of the gold medal ceremony.

In the 2004 Disney film Miracle, he is portrayed by Pete Duffy.

Awards and achievementsEdit

Award Year
All-WCHA Second Team 1978–79 [3]
  • 1980 Olympics Gold Medal

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1972–73 Madison East High School HS-WI
1973–74 Madison East High School HS-WI
1974–75 Madison East High School HS-WI
1975–76 University of Wisconsin WCHA 37 3 13 16 60
1976–77 University of Wisconsin WCHA 38 3 15 18 107
1977–78 University of Wisconsin WCHA 42 5 20 25 105
1978–79 University of Wisconsin WCHA 40 16 28 44 105
1978–79 Tulsa Oilers CHL 7 0 3 3 8
1979–80 United States Intl 31 7 11 18 61
1981–82 Nashville South Stars CHL 79 12 21 33 160 3 0 2 2 11
WCHA totals 157 27 76 103 377


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1980 United States OG 7 0 0 0 6


  1. ^ a b "NBC 26 Live at 10:00". Green Bay, Wisconsin. September 9, 2014. WGBA-TV. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.

External linksEdit