I hate to say "I told you so", but what the heck:
For the love of the Predators, and not the defenseman who he drafted here in 2003, then developed patiently over time, David Poile needs to figure out soon whether or not that future takes place in Nashville. If that answer is not forthcoming, then it's time to see what kind of assets can be gained in return, and help keep this team competitive for the years ahead.
--- OTF, Dec 8 2011
There's a reason I used the phrasing "if that answer is not forthcoming", because in situations like this, it's rare for a player to come right out and say "I don't want to be here, so you might as well trade me". Whether Ryan Suter was completely honest with the Predators about his priorities for a new contract or not, his actions clearly indicated a desire to hit the open market (just look at Pekka Rinne for a comparison - he was also due to be a UFA this summer, but signed an extension back in November).
Now you have to consider Shea Weber. He's said lots of pleasant, non-committal things over the last year or so, but when it came time to hammer out a contract last summer he couldn't agree on niggling details like how money or length of contract.
So what's your comfort level with him signing a long-term extension this summer?
The thing is, as critical as I've been of David Poile in this whole scenario, I have no doubt that he'll attack this new challenge of moving forward from the Ryan Suter affair with relish. It's remarkable how different he's appeared this week in his talks with the media - instead of the calm & cool veteran, we've seen a competitor who is obviously disappointed and frustrated with a loss. Remember, he's a former hockey player, and that competitive juice still pumps through his veins.
The "replacement" on the top pair may not be a sexy name (unless you have a Carlo Colaiacovo fetish, that is), and that's entirely OK. As Sam wrote last night, the Preds may not need as much of a special teams star, but rather someone who can simply help Weber take on the toughs. All I know is, we don't need to let a Weber negotiation hold up the proceedings. Along with a veteran defenseman, I'd sure like to see a talent upgrade on the wing (SK74 is not a 1st-line guy).
Ponder what it is that David Poile needs to address first while reading your morning hockey notes...
Nashville Predators News
Nashville Predators turn focus to Shea Weber after Ryan Suter's exit | The Tennessean
And I have the sense this won't be easy.
Suter’s departure leaves Nashville with hole in lineup and hurt feelings - Nashville Predators Examiner
You know what strikes me as weird? When David Poile says things like Suter played the most PP time in the NHL. He was more like 20th... I know he's trying to make a point, but that's just an odd misstatement.
Smashville 24/7 - Who is to blame: Poile or Suter?
This is the question many are considering.
Trotz: "One player’s not going to make our team" - Predators Insider
Coach is ready to buckle up and move forward.
Meet Mike Moore | Admirals Roundtable
Well, at least Milwaukee landed a good defenseman.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
"We’re not making money & that’s 1 reason we need to fix our system. We need to fix how much we’re spending" - Craig Leipold, April 11, 2012— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) July 4, 2012
The owners are going to be shoveling a lot of BS about the financial state of the game over the next few months, so Adam Proteau highlighted Leipold yesterday, in light of the big contracts he handed out to Suter & Zach Parise.
@HockeyyInsiderr: Everything Anyone Needs To Know | Edmonton Journal
Seriously, people - please don't follow or re-tweet those anonymous hockey rumor guys, you're only rewarding the lowest of the low, and showing yourself to be, well, a hockey moron.
How Efficient is the NHL Goaltending Market? | NHLNumbers.com
And remember, the whole $7 million for 7 years thing is just about to get started.
Coyotes Sign Steve Sullivan - Five For Howling
The former Pred finds a home in the desert.
Shop like an NHL GM with July's coupon codes | Hockey Gear HQ
This month you can save on hockey equipment, NHL fan gear, or memorabilia thanks to these new coupon codes.