A famous quote from the Godfather is appropriate for the last 24 hours here in Nashville. We as a young sports town have got to learn this lesson. In the end professional sports are and have been a business. Regardless if you are the king of the mountain in gross revenues(NFL right under 12 billion) or at its base(NHL at 3.3 billion) still a business. Both the franchises and the players know this. For the most part, both sides say the right things in media and to the fans. Always putting up the veneer of tranquility, never fully piercing it until its necessary.
Two quick examples, in 2006, Titans quarterback Steve McNair was due 10 million that season plus a contract extension for three years. Publicly, the Titans said all the right things(we want Steve to be our qb, etc) all the while behind the scenes that wasn't the case. On Monday April 3rd of 2006, the truth was fully revealed when Steve McNair was locked out from the Titans training facility. Titans had no plans of keeping him at all, it was a "business decision".
In the fall of 2010, Derek Jeter arguably the greatest Yankee of the last 25 years wanted a five year deal about 22 million per year. The Yankees balked and said the Jeter camp need a drink from the reality potion. They countered with three year deal at 17 million with an option for a fourth year included. The Yankees were public that they were going to treat the iconic player like any other player during contract negotiations. In both cases fans balked and screamed how can these franchises treat such star players this way. Its easy. Its a business.
Yesterday, Ryan Suter made a business decision for him and his family. He played the game right. Keeping his options open and only revealing his intentions when the time was right. If the decision was also family based as Ryan has said, that was the one thing Poile couldn't offer. HOME. As a former service member, the toughest soldiers to re-enlist were the soldiers whose spouse want them to leave the service and go back home at the end of their contract. It doesn't matter if you are professional athelete and make millions or make 35K and deal with the Iraqi heat. You will hear the same thing from your spouse coming and leaving the house. She wants to go home.
With a new CBA on the horizon, no one knows how the Weber situation is going to play out. Hopefully, Weber will be signed to be a Predator for life. But if not, then its not personal, its strictly business.