So, we lost Suter. A major blow. While I don't think anyone WANTED this to happen, it could turn out to be a positive. I'm of the opinion a team can have between 3 and 4 players being paid like Superstars under the current Salary Cap setup. Meaning approximately $25-30 million tied up in 3 or 4 players. I do believe the Predators could have signedRinne, Suter, Parise, and Weber and been Stanley Cup contenders for years to come with Poile's and Trotz's ability to get something out of the other lower end players.
Can we move on from this? Yes. Could this possibly be a good thing? Yes. Do I think Poile handled Suter correctly? For the most part, yes. How do we move on from this and what do we do from here?
Can we move on from this? Yes
No doubt. In this world there is always hope, and the world of sports shows this even more than most areas of life. Our hope lies in the owners being truthful about willingness to spend to the cap. Which means we have a lot of cap room to spread out over the team.
Could this possibly be a good thing? Yes
At $7.5 a year for 13 years, this could be a good thing for the Predators in the here and now. That amount of cap space on the Predators' roster would've left very little wiggle room for errors for a few years. Also, in a dream world with this salary cap a team does not have 2 Defensemen eating up as much cap space as Suter and Weber would demand. This allows Poile a chance to use that money on players that are a level below Superstar status. He can also choose to take risks like he did with Legwand and Erat by signing some up and coming young players to long term deals that would be a great deal for the team if the players keep getting better.
Do I think Poile handled Suter correctly? For the most part, yes.
Poile did the only thing he could do. He had the Superstars necessary to win a Stanley Cup if he could just get them to resign. Risking losing Suter for nothing, was a risk Poile had to take. You can't let fear make your decisions for you. Therefore, as long as Suter left the door open for a return, Poile had to keep the door open. If he had tradedSuter without Suter making it clear he would not resign, then Poile would have been telling the fan base that the Predators will not be able to be a cap team in the near future.
The only thing I think Poile should have done is gone hard after a Top 3 Forward in the trade market before July 1st. Even overpaying for one would've been worth it IF..IF...IF.. it would've convinced Suter to resign. My target would've been Bobby Ryan due to the combination of skill and his current pay. However, Poile chose to go for a homerun and hope he could get Suter and Parise at reasonable numbers (I'm guessing about 7 a year for about 13 years). I don'ttruely fault the decision to go for that instead of Bobby Ryan.
How do we move on from this and what do we do from here?
Well, let's start with what everyone is thinking. Attempt to sign Weber long term. However, if he hasn't signed yet then there are obviously some steps from here to there. Those steps probably are 1) proving to Weber that we are willing to spend money and 2) Add more offensive firepower.In a perfect world for the Preds, they accomplish the above and Weber resigns. How that is done I will leave to others.
With Suter gone though, the option of trading Weber has become a possibility when it was not before. However, some think it is time to trade Weber right now because it is clear he won't resign and we can get more in return now than later. I say him not resigning is still unclear. So when is it clear? If the team is playing well (They could be in 1st place in the entire NHL for all I care) and he hasn't resigned by the trade deadline then the team would be best served to trade him. It was okay for Poile to hope he could resign all of his key players, but with that not being possible he must become open to the idea of trading Weber at the trade deadline.
The most important thing to get from this, is that there is always hope and not to overreact with trade Weber demands, etc.
This opinion is also my way of venting. I think Suter's decision was bad from the viewpoint of his hockey career. There is no way for me to weigh in his personal life situations.