Latest on the Predators – May 10, 2012.

As the Nashville Predators disperse for the off-season, speculation over the futures of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber is ramping up.


Can the Predators retain Suter and Weber?

THE TENNESSEAN/NASHVILLE EXAMINER:  Nashville Predators pending UFA defenseman Ryan Suter acknowledged he’d spoken briefly with Predators GM David Poile on Wednesday, but he wants to take a couple of weeks to unwind before starting negotiations with the club. Suter, 27, said wherever he signs, he’d want to stay there for the rest of his career, citing in part family reasons. Among the teams which could be interested in Suter if he hits the open market are the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild, who are close to his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford mused over what it might take for the Vancouver Canucks to acquire Nashville Predators RFA defenseman Shea Weber, a BC native, if the Preds are unable to re-sign him long-term.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s important to remember Predators ownership is willing to spend whatever it takes to retain Weber and Suter, so money may not be a factor, but rather if Weber and Suter believe their best chances to win a Stanley Cup remains with Nashville. Of the pair, Suter is the priority for the Predators, as he can walk if unsigned by July 1st. If Suter becomes available, you can bet the Philadelphia Flyer will also be very interested in him. That he’s suggesting he’d want to stay with whoever he signs with for the rest of his career suggests he’s seeking a long-term deal, perhaps up to ten years.


  1. I have a feeling that Nashville will only end up keeping one of the two and then going to the free agent pool trying to lure a top end offensive talent. Lets face it, the back end wasn’t Nashvilles problem this year/playoffs. They failed to register more than 3 goals in any game in the post season. You can’t win if you can’t score.

    • The Preds may not have scored more than 3 goals in any playoff game but if you look at the stats the only two teams averaging more than 3 goals a game right now have been eliminated.
      Team – Goals For average per game
      PIT – 4.33
      PHI – 3.73
      NJ- 3.0
      LAK – 3.0
      PHO – 2.64
      Nash – 2.2
      WAS – 2.15
      NYR – 2.08

  2. I think that it is a strong possibility that Weber plays for the Pens next year

    • I have no clue how that would happen, but I would be the happiest person in Pittsburgh.

      • Maybe Staal and a 1st for Weber. Or maybe Malkin for Weber and another player. I think i’d rather have the Staal deal

  3. if Weber plays for the Pens it would be a great fit. However, alot of pieces have to move in order to make this possible. The Pens have some dead weight that they would need to trim/dump in order to get Weber. Martin and (in a little bit of a way) Michalek are dead weight. The Pens really aren’t getting their monies worth out of them. If the pens make a deal for Weber both of them need to be on the move out of town. The pens have all of their top line talent locked up for next year aside from perhaps Steve Sullivan who is a UFA and could retire if he wanted (but still has the ability to play at the NHL level). The Pens need to fill the holes/resign the depth players and get a backup goalie who can stop a beachball. That way when their starter goalie decides to lay an egg, they won’t be destroyed.

  4. I could honestly see both Parise and Suter in Minnesota. I think Suter is a goner from Nashville and for that matter so is Weber at some point over the next year or so. If ANY of these guys wanted to stay in Nashville they would have re-signed. Personally I think they screwed themselves by giving Weber that low ball offer in arbitration thats their captain and a top five D-man in the league. Should have given him the moon on a longterm deal much earlier. As for Suter Nashville should have traded him at the 2011 trade deadline at the earliest or the 2011 draft at the latest. Nashville could’ve received plenty for him including potentially his replacement through the draft with a pick and picked up a top six forward. Philly sounds like they want him bad and considering the packages in forwards they received for Richards and Carter, they could’ve easily made a package of JVR and picks work out for Suter. With Timonen/Pronger getting up there in age this should have been a priority for Philly then NOT this summer.

  5. As I’ve said before I’d love to see weber in a pens uni. IF (big if) any of the big 3 are on their way out I hope weber is coming back.

  6. Poile needs to sign Suter if he has any hope of signing Weber long term. Simply put, if suter bolts, weber will follow the year after. I hope they both stay in Nashville, they’re one of my favorite small market teams.

  7. I don’t see Weber going to Philly simply because I don’t think Philly can do it unless Pronger confirms his retirement, something he’s not likely to do.

    Shifting around $5-$7M of cap space if Pronger says he’s coming back at any point doesn’t seem feasible. (or they’d have to get rid of huge talent for draft picks to make it work, and decimate their roster)

    • 35+ deal. He can retire all he wants, he’s played over two years in Philly, means he doesn’t come off the books. Just means they’re down 5 million in cap space for nothing.

  8. I would love to see Suter in Philly. He would be a perfect fit, and they have the cap space, icetime and need for him. He would be their true #1, a whole left when Prongers career, for all intensive purposes is over. Pronger has not improved in over 1/2 a year now.

    We have the cap space, due to Prongers money, Carle is probably a goner, and I doubt Jagr will be back.

  9. The thing is- we don’t know what motivates these players. If they want a chance to wint he cup every year- then Nashville is the place to stay since i don’t see that team getting any worse. Or perhaps go to another yearly contender like Detroit or Pittsburgh.
    Maybe they want to move somewhere for family reasons.
    Maybe they want to take the highest offer and earn the most money.
    Maybe they want term and security.
    Maybe they want to play with their buddy.
    Maybe they want to party on the beach.
    Maybe they want to be “the Man” and lead another team.

    Who knows… it’s all specualtion.

    From a pure hockey standpoint: both guys should stay in Nashville IMO. This is aslo best for the NHL as these smaller market teams cannot continue to cough up their best players…

    • I don’t agree with Nashville being a contending team consistently. They do have the goalie and defense (for now) but where is the offense. Is there anyone in there forward group now or prospects that scare anyone and I would say no. Another thing is if these small market teams continue home-grow talent through the draft more often than not they are playing the prime of their careers in another uniform. That is another reason Nashville will not be there every year. I know Nashville insists they will spend close to the cap ceiling will it stay that way. I can honestly see for the next three years Nashville being a playoff team maybe win a round or two in those years and they’ll be in the same situation as the Sharks and have to decide do we start over. Not sure how committed that ownership group is for the long haul.

      • I know what you mean, but they have been on the cusp for the past 2-3 seasons…. I think they can still move forwrad. Sure, Nsh does not provide the opportunity that Det, Pit, Phi, Van, NJ does… but they are certainly in that next tier of teams. the right free agent signing and good acquisition- they are primed to be a contender.

        Isn’t there some pride in playing for a team and bringing them from the bottom to the top?

        • I agree there should be some pride in sticking with a team and seeing things through. But really where is the commitment to some of these players and the right players for that matter. Nashville hasn’t shown that commitment to him. They welcomed Radulov back with open arms and I truly believe they were better off without him and look in New Jersey they have Parise homegrown and felt the need to get Kovalchuk and make things difficult to re-up their Captain. Obviously the Kovalchuk signing has helped NJ but it might be at the expense of Parise. It just seems so often these teams do it to themselves.

  10. I assume they will go where they can win or a least a contender to win. As picking a team guaranteed to win.. does not work…

    They will go where they will be happy… and to a team that has a good rapport with their players.

    Will Minny (if he & Parise decide to go there) have to rid themselves of some players? Is Heatley on the move again?

    • Sandy- Not a 100% positive sure of Minnesota’s cap situation but I believe they would be able to sign Suter and Parise. Without major shakeups so I think Heatley would be safe and I think with Granlund, Setougchi, Koivu, and Parise they would actually have the makings of some offensive firepower. I’m a Bruins fan but would love to see the Wild do well such a great market for Hockey. So I’m pulling for Minnesota to land one or both of these guys.

  11. Oilers have 1st overall pick and also a bunch of young studs. They need a good D-man. I could see them makeing a run at D-man. Nashville needs scoring looks like a perfect storm.

  12. I think that anyone on Nashville that has the opportunity to “cash in” via FA is going to at least explore it. Look at how they handled their captain and best player last year. That says a lot to the players. Look at keeping two offensive players on the bench for game 4 instead of giving them the opportunity to redeem themselves. The management is definitely not respectful of the team IMO. It’s what they want or nothing and I think they may end up with nothing. The top tier teams in the league wouldn’t offer a top 5 D man in the league 3.5 or whatever it was just to try and coax the arbitrator in settling between the players asking price and theirs. Not to classy.

  13. WILD

    Wild would have troubles manufacturing the cap space to fit both Suter + Parise next season as long as they are bogged down with Backstrom. The Wild do have around $8 million in space, but also have 14 players to resign! Not to say they couldn’t make it work, but I think there would have to be a move somewhere to make it happen.


    Suter should not be the #1 priority. If you can convince Weber to stay and lock up long term you will increase your chances of retaining Suter as right now everyone gets the feeling Weber is going to want to go. Show that commitment now and lock them both up long term or likely lose them both.


    They are an interesting case next year. They do have around $2 million in space now and if their goaltending tandem isn’t back that is another $6.4 million in space, most of which would have to be used to replace the lost goaltending. They also don’t really have anyone in their system glaring to come up next year.

    I think the other question is what happens with Poni and Salvador. I believe that the Devils could lock up Poni for 2-3 more years at $2 million a season and let Salvador walk for a cheaper replacement. This does give them the space to re-up Parise.

  14. Also, why all of this talk of Suter getting traded … I mean sure a team can trade to grab his rights to talk to him before UFA but ummm … not nearly the amount that is being tossed about is going to land that unless there is a 100% GUARANTEE he is going to sign.

    • JJB- A lot of what was mentioned regarding Suter being traded was that it should have happened already. I think he is gone. And now he’s saying he’d like his next team to be the one he ends his career with. Spector is right on that might mean a 7-10 year deal and make the cap hit for that prospective team relatively low. Come on Poile does not seem like the kind of GM that will make that kind of commitment to a player. Hell I’m not even positive ownership would be OK with that. Suter is DONE in Nashville they missed the boat and should’ve traded him last summer for forward help and locked up Weber longterm instead of screwing around with lowball offers.

  15. If the Predators had traded Weber earlier as some suggest, there would be no hope of Suter hanging around. They need to do either one of the following

    1. Sign Suter first, and promise both of them they will open up the purse strings to land some A plus offence, and then do it.Give Suter a window and clause to request a trade if they don’t. When they do beef up the offense, extend Weber.

    2. Sign Suter first, and then shop Shea Weber. The Pittsburgh deal sounds good to me, especially the Malkin one. While I do not know what it would take to balance things out, I think it gives Nashville a bonifide Offensive star to build around in Malkin,( and charge of a team which he seems capable of handling)and Pittsburgh gets an upgrade on Defense, and allows Staal to be the number 2 Centreman he really is.. Preds can then bring up Ellis. While I prefer Weber to Suter, I cannot see Nashville staying competitive or moving forward any other way. Besides, Malkin can probably translate “Bed time is 11 p.m.” into Russian for the bad boys.

  16. The Preds ownership may have said they’ll spend what it takes to keep Suter & Weber, but they also said they would spend more on payroll this season than ever before when in fact they spent less on the roster in 11/12 than they did the previous season. As of yet, their words have spoken louder than their actions.

    But even if they did open up the purse strings to sign both of their big two Dmen, that presents another problem that I’m sure those two have thought of already, that being “what money will be left to sign better forward talent”? This is a big reason why I don’t think either of them will stay with the Preds. What player wants to sign long term with a team that can’t afford to pay scoring talent due to having over a 3rd of their budget spent on a goalie and 2 Dmen?

    Unless Poile can somehow convince Parise to come to Nashville, I don’t see any other way he could get Suter to sign on the dotted line.

  17. Actually the Devils will have 22 million dollars in cap space next year. More than enough to resign Parise.