The Nashville Predators and their fans are facing a thorny issue this summer. In light of Ryan Suter's signing in Minnesota, and Shea Weber's reluctance so far to commit long-term to the team, there is the question of whether the Preds as a franchise, and Nashville as a city, can attract and retain enough elite NHL talent to ever really contend for the Stanley Cup.
If top performers look here and decide that other franchises offer a greater mix of competitiveness/money/quality of life, does that condemn the Preds to simply being a developmental squad for the real contenders? And if players are making those kinds of calls, where does that leave general manager David Poile? In light of his decades of respected work in Washington and Nashville, might he ask himself a similar question?
Can he ever win a Stanley Cup here, or does he deserve a shot in a major NHL market, with a broader array of assets at his disposal? He's punched above his weight for a long time, but you have to wonder what he could do with greater resources available.
That thought came to me last night, and makes a fitting setup for this morning's hockey notes, which include a great deal of discussion about elite players coming & staying in Nashville...
Nashville Predators News
The View from 111: Will Top Talent Play in Nashville?
Mark says that the talk about spending to the cap needs to be backed up with action if the Preds are to become an attractive team to star-quality players.
Players Departing is Par For The Course in Hockey | PuckScene.com
Patten has some consoling words for those who are upset of Suter's departure.
Smashville 24/7 - Signing Weber important to franchise, city
Jacob wants to see Poile skip the foreplay and get right to a max offer.
Larry Brooks: New York Rangers would pay large price for Shea Weber, Nashville Predators defenseman, but he would be worth it - NYPOST.com
With only one year until he hits UFA status, I find it hard to believe someone would pay the price necessary to land #6.
Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen knows big contracts don't always bear fruit | The Tennessean
Thanks to Josh Cooper for including OTF in this look at how the team, and the fan base, are responding to last week's events.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Some of the Many, Many, Reasons to Sign NHL Free Agent Alexander Semin - Lighthouse Hockey
Alexander Semin has to be the top forward left on the market, right? His public detractors, however, provide reason for teams to take a pass.
NHL Rumors: Alexander Semin has $10 million-per-season offer from KHL - CBSSports.com
Well, that explains the slow progress on the NHL front.
Shane Doan Watch: 11 teams interested, but will Coyotes captain leave? | Puck Daddy
Are/Should the Preds be in the running?
Scrapping long-term NHL contracts is a bad idea | Hockey | CBC Sports
Elliotte Friedman argues that something like a 5-year cap on contracts won't provide the help some think it would.
Teams that cry poor should act the part - The Province
Should teams that receive revenue sharing pursue top-end free agents?
What do you want from the next CBA? - Silver Seven
Does anyone care what the fans think? Of course not, but this is still an interesting exercise.
NHL: Is the price right for Rick Nash? | BlueJackets Xtra
Can Scott Howson get a deal done, or does he view Rick Nash at a higher level than the rest of the league?
Sign Our Petition to Fire Bob Murray - Anaheim Calling
The crew at AC are fed up with the head Duck.
Hockey Prospectus | Top 10 Prospects: 2012 NHL Organizational Rankings
#22 with a bullet, baby!
Nassau County Launching Latest Attempt to Get Isles A New Arena The Hockey Guys
So... will this have a shot?
It’s true: Sharks hire Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson as associate coach | Working the Corners
Well well well... Here's an interesting hire in San Jose.
Wild's 72 hours of pursuit, anxiety and elation | StarTribune.com
Relive the magic from the Minnesota perspective.
The Dark Blue Jacket: The 2012 Central Division Tweet Up
A reminder, for those of you who fancy a trip to Columbus to engage with other hockey fans.