Friday, September 17, 2004

American Gary Suter

Reader C.C. in Edmonton comments:
And any Flames fan wishing to convict Mark Messier of dirty play had better at least mention the words "Gary Suter", or be prepared to be dismissed as a five-Cup-envying whiny little bitch...

Gary Suter. On the plus side, he racked up points delivering 70-foot cross-ice 5-on-4 passes to Al MacInnis and floating 62mph wrist shots on goal for easy rebound goals for Loob and friends. On the minus side, he:
  • Caused a premature age deterioration in Wayne Gretzky's play with a cheap hit in the back
  • Helped trash his part of the Olympic Village in Nagano (allegedly!)
  • Cross-checked Paul Kariya in the head, beginning his deterioration as a superstar, and may have cost Canada the '98 hockey gold in the process
I think there's probably a special place in Hell waiting for Gary Suter, when he dies from the inevitable drunken one-car wreck in a few years. Mostly forgotten regarding Canada's medal-less performance in Nagano is that they were without, at the time, Canada's 3 best offensive players: Mario (cancer), Sakic (foot), and Kariya (cross-checked in head by Suter). The shootout lineup (Nieuwendyk-Bourque-Fleury-Lindros-Shanahan) would have been considerably more fearsome with Gretzky and those three, not to mention the odds of scoring more than 1 goal in 70 minutes against Czech, even with Dominek Hasek playing out of his head.

Unlike Messier, Suter's thuggery is and will always be the lede in his hockey obituary, and rightly so. Slightly off-topic, I called bullshit on Sheila Copps last month for recycling the old tale of Ben Johnson becoming "Jamaican-born Ben Johnson" after Seoul. This phenomenon most certainly did happen in Calgary newspapers with Gary Suter after he left town - it was like he had a new first name! See the title of this post.

But anyway, if you want to see me be a whiny little bitch, just send Messier to confront me! I ran into him (not literally, thank God) in a golf shop in the late '80s. TV fails to do this guy justice. He was wearing Dockers and a windbreaker, and he still looked like he was carved out of granite. No wonder he pounded Joel Otto into a pulp!

Oh, Joel Otto was a 6'-4", 220-pound professional athlete in his mid-twenties.


At 3:41 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I've never minded that Gretz was left on the bench in Nagano: his offensive game was always said to have precisely one weakness, and it was breakaways. You'd have to look up his penalty-shot record to confirm or refute that, though. -Colby Cosh

At 4:05 p.m., Blogger Matt said...

As I recall it, breakaways were yet another example of one of those aspects of the game where, as soon as Gretzky started getting criticized for it, he immediately became better at it than just about anyone else in the game. (See: skating speed, defensive zone attention, etc.)

However, the sting of being stopped by Bunny Larocque early in his career obviously lingered.

At 6:23 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Gretzky himself said in response to this criticism,

(Paraphrasing): The stats may show that I missed a few penalty shots, but how many did I miss when it really mattered?

- Jass

At 4:22 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an old post about Gretzky that may be of interest:

At 6:23 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously got hit in the head a few too many times, if you even played hockey, which I highly doubt. And if you have you obviously sucked bad enough to be unheard of when "googled." Gary Suter was a stand-up player and is a stand-up guy, you should take lessons. Anyone who would wish for someone's death obviously has some issues. And by the way, Gary is alive, well, happy and rich.


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