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2012 NHL Free Agency: Busy day, but big names still out there

May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter (20) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 2-1.  Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter (20) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

About 50 new contracts have been announced on this first day of NHL Free Agency, and while the Nashville Predators were involved in some minor moves (Chris Mason returning as backup goalie, Francis Bouillon leaving for Montreal and Jordin Tootoo to Detroit), the big names are still out there. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are sifting their way through a host of lucrative offers, and aren't likely to make a decision tonight.

It's widely believed that their decisions are holding up other potential major moves, like a Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan trade. So, even though hockey fans were glued to their screens today, the earth-shaking news may still be coming up in the days ahead.

Is #SuterWatch coming to an end?

It sounds, however, like David Poile is finally getting to the "$&!% or get off the pot" moment that we quoted from Kevin Lowe in this morning's thread. This comes from Poile's media availability session this afternoon:

So... the time is coming for the Predators to make their final pitch and "move forward" if the answer isn't good? Several months ago would have been nicer. Jim Diamond adds this quote from Poile:

"If he comes back and signs with us, that's terrific and we live happily ever after, but we need to move this forward because there is a couple of other directions that we may want to go if we knew that he wasn't coming back."

Rest assured, however, that if Suter signs with a new team tomorrow, the Predators will still find some notable names to bring in and build towards the 2012-2013 season. They'll have to, just to hit the salary floor of 54.2 million. At least some of these guys are still available...

Here's the video from Poile's presser: