The Minnesota Wild reportedly will fly as a team to the funeral of "Miracle on Ice" gold medalist Bob Suter, father of Wild defenseman Ryan Suter.
Bob Suter died Tuesday in Wisconsin at age 57. According to the Star Tribune, the funeral will be held at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., on Saturday at 11 a.m. A wake will be held there Friday.
"The sudden loss of my father has been difficult for myself and our family -- my dad was my hero and he taught me about life, hockey and what was truly important -- family," Ryan Suter said in a statement released by the Wild on Wednesday. "He will be missed greatly and his legacy and spirit will be with us every day. He lived with the motto, 'It’s all about the kids,' and forever he will be remembered by this.
"My family and I also want to say thank you for the tremendous outpouring of support we have received from the hockey community around the world. It means a lot to us to know how much he was loved and will be missed."
Star Tribune writer Michael Russo reported that Wild owner Craig Leipold has made arrangements to fly Wild players, staff and their families to the memorial services. Bob Suter was a scout for the Wild since 2012.
"It's the right thing to do," Wild forward Zach Parise told Russo. "It sounds cliché, but you have your team and you consider that your second family. I've known Ryan for a long time, and I'm glad that we're doing that. Even if we didn't have a plane, I'll bet you the whole team would drive. I'm just glad that we'll be there for Ryan and his family."
Bob Suter, a native of Madison, Wis., was a standout defenseman at the University of Wisconsin, helping the Badgers win the 1977 NCAA championship. He left school two years later and joined the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, which upset the Soviet Union and defeated Finland to win the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y.
"It's just a sad time," Leipold said. "He was a great guy, great man. Ryan gets all of his great qualities from his father. He was a great person to be with and personified everything good about hockey."
Suter returned to Madison after his retirement as a minor-league player and opened a sporting goods store. He coached youth hockey and became part-owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wis.
"I just think that says huge things about Craig and the organization," family friend and former University of Wisconsin teammate Tom Sagissor told the newspaper. "Bob was a fantastic guy, just a great father and he was great to kids and good to the game of hockey. All those kids were just affected by him and his ability to keep people in the game."