Ever since the Predators bowed out in the conference semi-finals, the number of articles, blog posts and comments speculating on the future plans of All-Star Predators defenseman Ryan Suter has increased dramatically. Now, with the impending retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, tongues and keyboards are wagging like crazy about the inevitability of Suter wearing the winged wheel.
The funny part of this whole thing is… next to no one is talking about Ryan Suter making the move that makes the most sense...
Remaining in Nashville...
He has been associated and speculated to be going to almost every team in the NHL, all making the same assumption. Ryan Suter will not be in Nashville next season. That assumption is seriously flawed. Here’s some reasons why I say that…
– Ryan Suter is looking for his final contract. A place where he can settle with his family for the rest of his playing career, somewhere he can continue to do the things he likes to do. Suter is a bit of a country boy that enjoys his privacy. This is a definite advantage for Nashville.
Chance for a Cup
– Suter has made it clear that he wants to win a Cup. He wants to go to an organization that is not only committed to that purpose, but has the core together to make serious runs. Given that Nashville has a core of talent just hitting its’ stride, prospects in the pipeline that support the mission and a willingness to make the moves necessary to augment… there is a strong argument to remain in the Music City.
- It should be noted that Suter is a different type of player than his defense partner Shea Weber. They do have different skill sets, skill sets that complement each other well. The two of them could be called the best blueline tandem in the NHL right now. It would be hard to find a similar playing situation on another team.
– Don’t underestimate this as a reason for Suter to avoid major markets. Ryan was clearly annoyed at All-Star Weekend with the way different media outlets treated him. He couldn’t have been happy with the way a non-story was exploded into a controversy. Nashville has a fairly respectful media group and a population that knows how to respect a star’s privacy… after all, Nashville is used to seeing Carrie Underwood at the Harris Teeter, George Jones on his John Deere or Vince Gill and Amy Grant sitting in the stands for every game. This city allows stars to live their lives with a minimum of interruption.
Money Part 1
– People that know Ryan know that money is not the prime motivating factor with him. Don’t get me wrong, Suter wants to get paid, he should and he will... but Suter says that winning a cup is his prime motivator, I don't see him hamstringing his team with a contract that doesn't allow him to be surrounded with a team that can win.
Money Part Deaux
- No one seems to believe the Predators ownership group when they come out and say they will spend to the cap. With consistent increases in attendance and corporate sponsorships, this is less and less an issue with Nashville. The team has the money to sign Ryan Suter and ice a competitive team.
Money Part C
- The salary cap may or may not come into play here. You can assume that Suter and Weber will be fairly equal when it comes to compensation. Add in Pekka Rinne's contract and you are dropping a fair amount of your payroll on three players. But if the team is spending to the cap, there is plenty of room to add another piece or two to compliment a solid core.
You can see that there is a very strong case to be made for Ryan Suter to remain a Nashville Predator. Preds GM David Poile and Suter’s agent Neil Sheehy have said they will meet this week in what could be a key negotiation in this franchise's history. The next month may be full of tension for Pred Nation until the announcement of Suter’s new contract… or the announcement that Suter is hitting the open market.
Last night’s Diabetic Assist Dog fundraiser at Tin Roof was a roaring success. We blew our goals away thanks to the generosity of Pred fans everywhere.
Thanks to each and every one of you who donated, either last night or on Ron’s fundraising page on FirstGiving.com. Thanks to Sixwire, Small Time Rock Stars, Kansas lead singer John Elefante, Teea Goans and Danielle Lauderdale for giving of their talents for the concert last night.
I have to admit… hearing John Elefante sing “Point of Know Return,” “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On My Wayward Son” live, in a club setting was mind blowing.
Thanks to all of you, Ron will get his assist dog sometime in the next few weeks. I am always amazed at the hockey community’s ability to get together and pitch in… Pred Nation rocks!
Stanley Cup Final Random Notes
- How many times have we seen this happen this playoff season? The team that “should’ve” won game one doesn’t… last night was huge for Los Angeles.
- Kopitar’s move was simply sick on the game winner…
- In Gary Bettman’s annual address prior to game one of the cup final he shared that league revenues are up to $3.3 billion, the Phoenix sale process is proceeding and that the NHLPA and the NHL have set some dates to begin negotiating the new CBA.
- The New York Post is reporting that both Stanley Cup final teams are for sale… New Jersey was kind of known due to their untenable financial situation but LA was a bit of a surprise… and the sale rumor was quickly denied by various sources in the NHL and the LA Kings.
- At GM meetings yesterday the subject of “hybrid icing” was brought up. They are going to ask the AHL to experiment with it before making a decision.
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On the next SlapShot Radio
Last night’s podcast is posted... We welcomed sportscaster and radio play-by-play voice of the New Jersey Devils, Matt Loughlin, NBC Sports analyst and former NHL player J.R. himself, Jeremy Roenick, and the author of HockeyNomics, "What the Stats Really Say" Darcy Norman. We also have a special unaired bonus feature with LA Daily News writer, Thomas Hoffarth discussing Marty McSorley's curved stick in the '93 finals.
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