One day after the sudden passing of his father, Bob Suter, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter released a statement Wednesday thanking the community for a "tremendous outpouring of support."
"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," the statement said. "He will be missed greatly and his legacy and spirit will be with us every day."
Bob Suter died at the age of 57 Tuesday after suffering an apparent fatal heart attack while working at Capitol Ice Arena. He was a member of the legendary 1980 U.S. Olympic "Miracle on Ice" hockey team.
While arguably best known for being a physical defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that upset the USSR and went on to win the gold medal, Suter spent nearly his entire life involved in the sport.
"We are very saddened by today’s news that Minnesota Wild Scout Bob Suter suddenly passed away," the Wild said in a statement. "Not only was Bob a great hockey ambassador, he was a terrific person off the ice who will be greatly missed by all of us."
Bob Suter never played in the NHL, despite signing a contract with the Minnesota North Stars at one point. He was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and won an NCAA championship with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers in 1977.
After retiring in 1982 he opened up a sporting good store, Suter’s Gold Medal Sports, and eventually became part owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.
Bob Suter and his wife Beth have five children: Justin, Ryan, Garrett, Jason and Tyler, according to Bob’s Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame induction page.
"It means a lot to us to know how much he was loved and will be missed," Ryan Suter said of the support.
Here's the full statement from Ryan Suter:
"The sudden loss of my father has been difficult for myself and our family - . 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."
And the full statement from the Wild organization:
"We are very saddened by today’s news that Minnesota Wild Scout Bob Suter suddenly passed away. The Wild organization sends its condolences to the entire Suter family during this difficult time. Not only was Bob a great hockey ambassador, he was a terrific person off the ice who will be greatly missed by all of us."