Contradictory: - adjective: asserting the contrary or opposite; contradicting; inconsistent; logically opposite.
A photo next to that dictionary entry now shows defenseman Ryan Suter speaking to the media during the All-Star Game Media Day in Ottawa. Or at least it should.
When he told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that he feels "it would be more of a distraction more than anything," regarding his potential for signing a contract extension before the Feb. 27 trade deadline, Suter made himself the distraction that he was supposedly trying to downplay.
Now for the next 28 days, the league will be watching and waiting to see what moves, if any, Predators general manager David Poile will make to assert the team firmly in a "contender" position that Suter has expressed interest in seeing.
For the next 28 days, the big question surrounding the Preds will be "will he or won't he?" It will apply to both Suter and Poile, and the franchise's future could hinge on what potential addition Poile can bring in to bolster the roster. If ownership is indeed giving Poile the green light to "make a run" at a Stanley Cup, this year, not next, is the year to do it.
The team is in its best position to take a top seed since the year of Forsberg, and the recent wave of momentum has the Preds firmly in the Western Conference race. Better yet, the schedule allows the Preds to control their own fate, with nine games remaining against Central Division foes to climb past the Blues and Red Wings and keep the Blackhawks in the rear view mirror.
Add in the possibility of labor strife with the impending CBA negotiations in the offseason and any momentum the franchise has gained in recent years could be halted with another lockout. The Preds had this same kind of momentum when they first made the postseason in 03-04, before the next season's stoppage put the kibosh on the excitement.
But back to Suter. When he says he doesn't want the contract talks to be a distraction, he is essentially making it the focal point of any talk concerning the Preds, taking the spotlight off the team, where it should be given the recent tear the guys in gold have amassed. Instead, the questions will surround Suter and Poile. What would kill the distraction faster than anything is Poile "rolling the dice" and bringing a top-six forward. Poile loves to stockpile draft picks, but it's time to use those assets and bring in a more immediate commodity.
Perhaps Suter should give his recommendation to Poile as to who the GM should try to acquire, in which Poile should immediately turn around and ask him if bringing in said player would get Suter to sign right then and there.
If the Preds are going to go for it, the time is now. Poile needs to take a shot at the Cup this year, because next season is not certain with labor negotiations on the horizon. Suter is a big part of the team's chances to bring home Lord Stanley.
By making his comments in Ottawa, Suter talked his game to the next level. He now owes the team that kind of effort for the rest of the season, if nothing else. His statement made him a walking contradiction. Preds fans need to hope his play doesn't become one.