Sullivan told The Tennessean that he was informed at his year-end meeting with Nashville that the team would opt to go another direction this offseason. Predators General Manager David Poile confirmed his intention to not re-sign Sullivan.
It's a disappointing ending to what was one of the great feel-good stories in Nashville Predators history, the way Sully fought back from chronic back problems to return to everyday NHL action. Now, he'll head to unrestricted free agency and look for a job elsewhere.
As they look to assemble the 2011-12 Nashville Predators, however, I'm sure GM David Poile had a hard time reserving a prime offensive slot for a aging winger who finally seemed to be breaking down. The NHL seems to get quicker and quicker with each passing year, and Sully's speed is no longer the difference-maker that it used to be.
The question going forward, then, is what opportunity that opens up for a younger winger (Colin Wilson?) or potential acquisition via free agency or the trade market. Sullivan made $3.75 million last season, so that frees up quite a bit of money, not all of which necessarily has to go towards re-signing Shea Weber.
Bon Voyage, Sully!