DETROIT, MI - APRIL 15: Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators tries to get around the stick of Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 15, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Nashville won the game 3-2 and lead the series 2-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Yesterday's trade of Anders Lindback to the Tampa Bay Lightning is drawing widespread approval from Preds fans - in spite of Lindback's popularity, it's obvious that he wasn't going to be a starter here and in exchange for giving him that opportunity somewhere else, at least David Poile got back a couple 2nd-round draft picks for next week.
Unfortunately, that sort of pragmatism has been much more difficult to apply to the Ryan Suter situation. Despite every indication that Suter will test the free agency market on July 1, Poile has gamely kept negotiating, hoping to get Sutes locked up long-term by selling hard on what it means to stay here. Just listen to the second half of his interview yesterday on 102.5's Sports Revolution, and you'll hear a GM who is in full-on recruiting mode - for a player who has already been here seven years.
As I wrote six months ago, the Predators' leverage in this situation has dwindled away over the course of time, and is now almost entirely gone. Perhaps they can trade his rights to a team which covets some one-on-one time enough to part with a draft pick over the next few days, but again, given his apparent intent to hit the market on July 1 (and why wouldn't he?), that doesn't even make much sense.
While many might characterize the trades for Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad as playoff-rental gambles by the Predators that went bust, perhaps the biggest bet of all was holding on to #20 until the bitter end.
Your Saturday hockey notes begin with more on yesterday's happenings, before taking you for a spin around the league...
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Nashville Predators News
What the Lindback trade means - Predators Insider
It means that Mitch Korn deserves a pat on the back.
Tampa Bay Lightning resolves its goaltending issue with acquisition of Anders Lindback - Lightning Strikes | Tampa Bay Times
Maybe the nice return that the Preds got for Lindback is a case of "seen him good" by Yzerman.
Predators Ship Out Lindback and Wilson | Admirals Roundtable
Jason highlights the fact that this trade makes for a great opportunity for Kyle Wilson as well as Lindback, since Wilson is looking forward to a one-way contract next season, which will likely keep him at the NHL level.
Our favorite Anders Lindback moments: #5 | Section 303
You know a backup goalie is popular when he gets his own tribute series.
Predators want to bring Colin Wilson back in 2012-13 - Nashville Predators Examiner
...but does Colin want to stay?
Nashville Predators hold out hope of retaining Ryan Suter | The Tennessean
Josh Cooper sums up yesterday's media call. The key word in that title is "hope".
Suter's agent: No list of teams he will or won't go to | StarTribune.com
I agree with Russo about this - "if you're another team, how do you give up any assets for Suter's rights unless you're given permission to have a conversation with the guy first to see if he's even interested in signing prior to July 1? ...If Suter's waited this long, why wouldn't he just wait until July 1 to sign with a team?"
A few thoughts on Suter - Predators Insider
The other danger to consider here is how the Predators have let the Suter drama hold up progress pretty much everywhere else on the roster.
10,000 bees swarm outside of Bridgestone Arena - WSMV Channel 4
WTF? These were supposed to be delivered to the visiting locker room six weeks ago!
Top 15 moments of the 2011-12 Preds season: #10 | Section 303
49 million candles on a birthday cake.
Count Martin Gelinas as Another Committed Non-Admirals Coach | Admirals Roundtable
What's with all these Admirals coaches heading to Alberta?
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
NHL free agents, 2012 awards, lockout and more news - NHL - SI.com
Take a thorough trip around the league (including CBA negotiation talk) with Adrian Dater & Allan Muir.
Michael Arace commentary: Nash trade will happen, and soon | BlueJackets Xtra
Get ready for the Rick Nash sweepstakes to kick into high gear.
Down Goes Brown: Behind the scenes at the auditions for the 2012 NHL Awards Show hosting job
Someone needs to film this, it's that good.
How much money would the Edmonton Oilers pay if they signed Hall and Eberle to contract extensions this summer? | Edmonton Journal
That's the thing about loading up on high draft choices. Eventually those players start getting expensive.
Can Anaheim Duck GM Bob Murray Survive Another Slow Start? - The Hockey Writers
If not, look out for flying chairs.
Report: Sheldon Souray Turns Down One-Year, $3 Million Offer From Stars? - Defending Big D
You know, there's an interesting name...
Cox: Maple Leafs likely to pass on Rick Nash, pitch for Roberto Luongo - thestar.com
You know, that's not a bad idea on their part, not bad at all.
HockeyAnalysis.com " Alexander Semin and elite unrestricted free agent
Look at these charts and you'll say wowy, what a player.
Referee Stephane Auger retires; embellishers everywhere breathe a sigh of relief | Puck Daddy
Yeah, he wasn't the most popular ref in the league.
2012 Stanley Cup Final Zone Exits | NHLNumbers.com
Getting reliable data like this for all games & all teams would be a tremendous boost to the hockey analytics. I'd bet that many (most?) teams do something like this already, but only for their own players.