ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Ryan Suter has ranked in the top three in the NHL for time on ice in all six of his seasons with the Minnesota Wild, logging an average of 28 minutes per game.
This year, he was forced to ponder the frightening question whether he'd be able to play at all.
When Suter and his right leg crashed into the wall during a game at Dallas late in the regular season, he broke two bones. He needed surgery to repair the fibula and talus and was told by doctors that, if he played a different sport, his career could have ended. Even with the expectation the 33-year-old defenseman would fully heal and return to his All-Star form, the offseason recovery was daunting at least and excruciating at most.