Continuing the Suter legacy
How the Suter family is staying in the game of hockey through coaching
MINOCQUA, Wis. (WSAW) - Inside the Lakeland Hawks Ice Arena is Lakeland Union head coach Jake Suter. He’s firing slap shots to his goalie.
If you think the name sounds familiar— you’re right.
“My uncle with the Olympic team, my dad with his career and Ryan with his and some other family members,” said Suter, who played hockey until he was 26 years old.
He’s a Suter, who’s family is one of the most well-known hockey families in Wisconsin
“I mean it’s been our life----it’s been a rewarding thing to all of us,” he said.
Now, he’s on the ice as a coach.
But he’s not alone.
“Even though they’re done playing, it’s still fun to come out and interact with these kids,” his father Gary Suter said, who joins the team a few times a week to help out, especially with the defenseman.
Jake’s uncle Bob Suter is a 1980 Olympic gold medalist in hockey and current NHL Minnesota Wild Player Ryan Suter is his cousin.
His dad Gary is an NHL hall of famer.
“It was normal for me. Normal to be in the Sharks locker room in the Blackhawks locker room and all that stuff,” Jake said.
For Gary, his kids aren’t playing anymore, but he just can’t step off the ice.
”The kids call him vintage Suter,” Jake said with a loud laugh.
Call them one of the Suter duos, with hall of fame experience.
“It’s something that we grew up with and just want to keep passing on to the next generation,” Gary said.
“I’ve never been around someone who knows as much as he know about the game of hockey,” Jake added.
Jake played the game himself, all the way until last year. While he was burned out at the end of his playing career three years ago, coaching has brought it back to life.
“Coaching at this level with these kids. It’s pretty awesome, pretty special for me,” Jake said.
And he cherishes each moment, with his dad and the team.
“It’s made me fall in love with hockey again and there’s nothing I love more than coming out to practice and being with those guys,” Jake said.
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