clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mark Johnson, Mike Eaves, Barry Alvarez comment on sudden passing of Bob Suter

New, comments

The shocking death of former Wisconsin defenseman Bob Suter has shaken the hockey community. Former teammates Mark Johnson and Mike Eaves released statements after learning the devastating news.

Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

The Wisconsin hockey program suffered an incredible loss on Tuesday, as former defenseman Bob Suter suffered an apparent heart attack and passed away at the age of 57.

Suter played for the Badgers from 1975-79, winning an NCAA National Championship in 1977. The Madison native was also a member of the 1980 U.S. Miracle on Ice team that defeated the Soviet Union in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. The United States would go on to win the gold medal at the Lake Placid Olympics.

You don't have to be a hardcore hockey fan to understand how important the Suter name is to Wisconsin hockey. On top of Bob's credentials, his brother, Gary, also played for the Badgers, and spent 17 seasons in the NHL. Bob's son, Ryan, a defenseman for the Minnesota Wild, may be the best of them all. Ryan Suter is currently gearing up for his 10th season in the NHL between the Nashville Predators and the Wild. Prior to his time in the NHL, Ryan played college hockey at -- you guessed it, Wisconsin.

The hockey community is still in disbelief. Former teammates Mike Eaves, Mark Johnson, and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez released statements on the sudden passing of Bob Suter Monday night.

Mark Johnson (UW women's hockey head coach, Suter's UW and 1980 Olympic Team teammate):

"We are all stunned. Everyone is shocked. It's a sad day for not only the community of Madison but the hockey community who knew Bob and all of the players who he touched and who he gave an opportunity to play hockey and climb up the ladder. Whether its high school, onto college or onto the professional ranks, he touched a lot of kids and gave them an opportunity. I think he was in a great place with the new USHL team coming in and they were just getting up and starting to practice and getting ready for some exhibition games. It is unfortunate that this happened at such a young age and there are a lot of people who are going to miss him."

Mike Eaves (UW men's hockey head coach and Suter's UW teammate):

"This is a heart-breaking day. Bob was the ultimate teammate. He could skate like the wind and was as hard of a competitor that I ever knew. He has passed much too young."

Barry Alvarez (UW Director of Athletics):

"I was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Suter. The Suter name is synonymous with Badger hockey. Bob did tremendous work in the Madison and UW community to grow the sport of hockey. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Suter family."

Once again I just want to take a moment to send our condolences to the Suter family and everyone who is saddened by the loss of Bob Suter.

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)