NHL Star Writes Incredible Letter To His Deceased Father From The ‘Miracle On Ice’

David Hookstead | Contributor

NHL superstar Ryan Suter recently published a letter to his deceased father Bob Suter, and it’s a must read for sports fans everywhere.

Bob Suter was a pivotal player on the 1980 USA Olympic team when they defeated the Soviet Union juggernaut, in what would immediately become known as “The Miracle on Ice.”

The Olympic star died in 2014, and his son Ryan’s letter to him in The Player’s Tribune might have you grabbing a box of tissues.

The Minnesota Wild defenseman wrote in part:

He was a part of one of the greatest hockey teams of all time, but you would never know it in a million years by the way he carried himself. He was the definition of blue-collar. When he came home to Wisconsin after the Olympics, the first thing he did was open up a sporting goods store on the east side of Madison. But it wasn’t just a sporting goods store. The other half was a bait shop. I was too young to remember, but he’d tell me stories about opening up in the morning and walking in and seeing dead minnows all over all the goalie pads. I guess they’d pop off the top of the bait buckets in the middle of the night and try to escape.

It was the most Wisconsin thing ever.

My dad is my hero. But I’m not proud of him because he was the guy who won the gold medal in 1980. I’m proud of him because he was the guy sweeping the floors in the locker room, and the guy who taught hundreds of kids how to play the great game of hockey, and the guy who was a hell of a dad to me and my brothers.

He also wrote about how he kept his dad’s medal at his school for two weeks, and his dad didn’t even care it was gone. Truly a hockey guy move through and through.

I met Bob Suter once or twice growing up. My family shopped at his store when my sister was playing hockey down in Madison. I remember the first time I walked into his hockey store. I thought I was in heaven to simply be in a building owned by a man who defeated the Soviet Union. The employees and everybody else there thought it was just a normal day.

He was a legendary man in the Wisconsin hockey world. His name carried the same weight as a thousand pounds of gold, but as his son points out, you never would have known that from the way he carried himself.

The man played in the greatest hockey game ever played, and he went on to be a figure in local Wisconsin hockey. That’s the spirit so many people don’t understand. Bob Suter lived his life the way he wanted to live it, and I have no doubt he was as happy could be. No need for the flashes of cameras and bright lights of celebrity. Suter just went out there defeated the Soviet Union, and returned to a normal life in Wisconsin like it was no big deal. That’s the heart of a true champion. He wins a gold medal and acts like it’s not a big deal. Again, a hockey guy through and through to the end.

Suter might have passed away a couple years ago, but his legacy will be felt in Wisconsin hockey for generations to come. He was one hell of a hockey player, and he was one hell of a man.

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David Hookstead

Contributor

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