Tootoo turns down Preds offer? SportsFest panel offers up juicy Preds talk

May 4, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Jordin Tootoo (22) prepares to check Phoenix Coyotes left wing Taylor Pyatt (14) during the first period of game four in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 1-0. Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Pete Weber and Brent Peterson offered up a lively talk and Q&A session with Nashville fans at today's SportsFest at the Nashville Convention Center. Weber, of course, acted as master of ceremonies, cajoling some entertaining stories out of Peterson (including some good ones involving Scotty Bowman and Wayne Gretzky which will be found in an upcoming book), and coordinating the back-and-forth with the Smashville faithful.

Here are some of the highlights for those of you who missed it:

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  • When asked about Erik Karlsson winning the Norris Trophy, Peterson got quite animated, stating that "Shea Weber's a way better player," and that the voters just got caught up in gaudy offensive numbers.
  • There were a number of questions about upcoming free agents. Peterson feels they have a "60/40 chance" on re-signing Ryan Suter, citing the factors we've beaten to do death about why he might want to stay (lifestyle, state of the team, etc.).
  • On Hal Gill - the Preds are negotiating to bring him back, and see him as a good PK specialist and 3rd-pair guy at even strength to play alongside Ryan Ellis.
  • Jordin Tootoo has apparently turned down a "sizable 3-year contract" offer by the Preds, and will hit the market. The team is also trying to negotiate with Paul Gaustad, but they need to see if he can come down from the $2.5 million salary from his previous contract, given his limited (but valuable) role.
  • For a backup goalie, they're looking for a veteran option first. The way Anders Lindback surprisingly won the backup job two years ago was nice, but they can't expect that to happen again.

There were many more good questions and thoughtful responses from Pete & Brent, and I highly recommend making it out to catch this panel next time. Besides, just a few feet away was a booth where they were giving away FREE GOO GOO CLUSTERS.

Nom nom nom...

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