Today is June 1 and my knuckles are telling me that there are only 30 days in June. That means in 30 days Ryan Suter and 14 other Predators will enter free agency on July 1.
Nashville Predators Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile met on Thursday with Ryan Suter in Madison, Wis., according to reports from Josh Cooper of “The Tennessean.”
According to Poile, “The meetings were very, very good. They were very positive and very constructive.”
With Nicklas Lidstrom’s recent retirement, the Detroit Red Wings will definitely want to get in on the Suter sweepstakes. The Red Wings have a mind-boggling amount of cap room this summer as they go after Zach Parise and Suter.
Also going after Parise and Suter are Chuck Fletcher and his Minnesota Wild. After the Wild failed to make the playoffs following a 20-7-3 start last season, their fans are almost certain Parise and Suter, both natives of the midwest, are coming home. The Wild and Wings have the most cap room to sign the two superstar Americans.
Of course Parise is still playing hockey for the New Jersey Devils.
Suter’s wife is from the Midwest and he was quoted by Cooper just a few weeks ago saying, “Wherever I sign I want to be there for the rest of my career, and that affects my family, my wife, my kid, if we have more kids, everything plays into it.”
Suter has played most of his career with superstar partner Shea Weber, a restricted free agent this summer, and that is the only knock on how much money Suter should get and how good he will be if he leaves Nashville.
Suter had a very good 2010 Olympic run with team USA in Vancouver when he was paired with Brian Rafalski.
Wild’s beat writer, Michael Russo, of the “Star Tribune” wrote yesterday that Poile’s history shows that he’s not afraid to trade the rights of his free agents before July 1 if he knows he won’t sign them. Russo adds that the Flyers are also interested in Suter, and Poile has traded with them many times before.
Madison resident and NHL defenseman, Tom Gilbert, was acquired by the Wild in a trade at the deadline for long time Wild defenseman Nick Schultz. This move was speculated in hopes that the Wild would have another asset to tempt Suter to play in Minnesota. Another former Wisconsin Badger plays for the Wild now, Dany Heatley.
So if you’re Ryan Suter would you want to play in Lidstrom’s shadow in Detroit for a world class organization, or make your wife happy and play with your buddy Tom on a team that is built for the future, or Philadelphia for a team that was giving up five goals a game in the playoffs built around offense or do you want to stay put and be the face of the franchise in Nashville?
In my opinion, I’d put the percentages at 45% Detroit, 35% Minnesota, 15% Nashville, and 5% Philadelphia. Where do you think Suter ends up?
For more updates on Predators hockey all summer long, follow @dhbrownTHW on Twitter. Today is just the beginning.
David H. Brown is a writer based out of Minnesota, the State of Hockey, where he was born and raised. He’s covering the Minnesota Wild for THW. He graduated from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where he regularly attended Kings and Ducks games. His personal website is dhbrownsports.com and you can follow him on twitter @dhbrownsports and @dhbrownTHW. He likes pepperoni pizza.