SAN JOSE – Quiet and under the radar are ways to describe Ryan Suter and his play at times.
On Saturday, Suter was using those adjectives to describe another Suter.
Before the Minnesota Wild and Sharks faced off, Gary Suter, Ryan's uncle and a former Shark, was honored at SAP Center. Part of that ceremony included a ceremonial puck drop, where Ryan, and not Wild captain Mikko Koivu, skated out to center ice to join his uncle.
"I told [Koivu], I said, 'I'm taking it,'" Suter said with a laugh. "That was awesome, and that was a lot of fun."
Gary Suter, like his nephew Ryan, was a defenseman in the NHL. While Ryan said his uncle, " … was always a guy that always kind of flew under the radar," it's hard to ignore Gary's hockey resume.
Like Ryan, Gary represented the United States at the Olympics. Gary was also on the United States team that won the very first World Cup of Hockey in 1996, upsetting Canada.
This fall, nephew Ryan stands a good chance to follow suit participating in that tournament as the World Cup of Hockey returns.
Gary also won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Utah; eight years later, Ryan earned a silver of his own with the United States in Vancouver.
The Suter's spent some time together Friday, before sharing that special pregame moment on Saturday. Gary then accompanied the Wild back to Minnesota on the team charter, where Ryan made sure there was ample space for him to sit with his uncle.
"I think we're booting Haula out so uncle Gary can sit with us," Ryan said.