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Tuesday Night Thoughts

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• With Nashville comfortably in the playoff race, a couple of teams indicated they’d heard defenceman Ryan Suter was off the market and the Predators were going for it. GM David Poile, via email: “Business as usual, trying to sign [him].” By the way, Suter turned 27 on Saturday.

• There are a few reports the Oilers are trying to get Nashville to offer either blue-liner Ryan Ellis or Jon Blum/a first-rounder for Hemsky. For what it’s worth, one source (not Poile) said Monday that the Predators are not interested.

• A couple of teams think Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad would be a very nice fit in San Jose. That kind of big, depth centre is exactly the kind of player the Sharks eye. Another GM said he could see Wild defender Marek Zidlicky being a possibility there, too. He’s out of favour in Minnesota and those two teams like dealing with one another.

• Get the sense the NHL is confident the St. Louis sale to Tom Stillman will work out. The Devils? Tough to get a good handle on what’s happening, although it’s clear an ugly ownership fight has, at the very least, annoyed everyone by leading to some unpaid bills. Whatever the case, it won’t be easy to fix everything in time to deal with Zach Parise’s impending free agency. He’ll want assurances about the overall health of the franchise.

much more

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Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Business as usual, trying to sign (him).

And if he’ll take $4M a year for 10 years, they just might have a chance. Otherwise, Poile is an idiot. He’s going to get either Suter or Weber. That’s it. All of the posturing in the world won’t change the fact that the Preds don’t have the money to sign both (even with the “welfare checks” they get from teams like the Wings every year).

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/25/12 at 02:51 AM ET

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They don’t need to sign both.  If they sign Suter then they won’t lost either one for nothing because Weber is just an RFA.

If they sign Suter they can either trade Weber’s rights and get something for him around the time of the draft while still being able to use him for an attempt at a playoff run, or they can sign Weber as well and work out a trade in which they’re trading someone going into a new contract rather than someone on an expiring contract.

Even if they sign Weber to a one-year deal this summer and deal him before the season starts they’ll get a significant return for him.

Posted by Garth on 01/25/12 at 03:34 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If they sign Suter then they won’t lost either one for nothing because Weber is just an RFA.

You and I have had this discussion before. And your argument is always flawed, Garth. You’re assuming that because Weber is an RFA that the Preds can sign him for whatever they want for one more year. But he has arbitration rights and they’re already paying him $7.5M. No arbitrator is going to award him less than that for one year.

If they sign Suter they can either trade Weber’s rights and get something for him around the time of the draft while still being able to use him for an attempt at a playoff run

Well, if they do that, then Weber will be a free agent next summer after they’ll refuse to accept the arbitarator’s decision (because they won’t have the money to pay him what he’s awarded). Either way, one of them will be a free agent next summer.

That’s when the Wings will have a chance to use the money they have available (if Nick retires) to sign one of the two. There’s no guarantee they’ll get that guy. But it’s about 99.9% certain that one of them won’t be playing in Nashville next year. It’s simple math. And nothing Poile can say will change that.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/25/12 at 04:07 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t get NAS.

Going for it

“.

Going for what?  Simply a playoff berth?  They have no hope whatsoever of coming out of their own division, let alone winning a Cup!  The There are already 3 teams as good or clearly better than them in their division alone… CHI and DET are clearly better, and STL is (at the very worst) their equal, and quite possibly better as well.

WTF is there to “go for”?

NAS never is going to be anything are they?  They’re always going to be that team that’s just happy to be a #7 or #8 seed and bounced in the first round.

Remind me why Pred fans exist again?

Posted by Primis on 01/25/12 at 10:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

WTF is there to “go for”?

If you make the playoffs again and maybe even the 2nd round, you give fans hope that you’re building to be an eventual contender (whether or not that’s actually true).

Then, your fans show up to more games and you make more money. Then, it’s maybe even possible that you CAN spend enough to compete for a cup.

Nashville is playing to 97% capacity at home this season. Last season they played to 94% capacity. The three seasons before that, home attendance hovered in the 87% range. 

The fans come, the money comes, the ability to spend more comes.  That’s what they’re going for.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/25/12 at 11:08 AM ET

Primis's avatar

The fans come, the money comes, the ability to spend more comes.  That’s what they’re going for.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 01/25/12 at 08:08 AM ET

I could not disagree more.  I think the Preds have been cementing their fans they already have into deeper fans, but I don’t see a sense from Pred fans that they’re actually hopeful of anything either.  Pred fans know this team is not built to go anywhere and that they’re becoming Edmonton South in terms of a glorified farm system for the rest of the league (much like Buffalo has also been for some time).

Another year or two or first-round exits and you’re going to lose those fans just that quickly because they want and expect more.  They (honestly now, admit it) aren’t any closer to that now than they were 5 or 10 years ago.  At a certain point, you either move forward or backwards, and without at least a deep playoff run Nashville is basically moving backwards.

I don’t see any building towards more spending because hasn’t that been the mantra now for the last decade or so?  I see a rinky-dink operation that’s gotten away with operating on a shoestring budget for so long now that there’s no real hope of that ever changing because it’s “worked”, and of a decent-but-impatient fanbase that’s going to turn on them quickly unless something changes.

You should never “go for” the status quo, and that’s precisely what the Preds would be “going for”.  Go for the playoffs if you’ve missed them recently.  Go for the deep playoff run or for a Cup if you’ve established yourself as a playoff team.  But never, ever go for the status quo unless you’re already the champ.  That’s suicide.

Posted by Primis on 01/25/12 at 11:42 AM ET

Avatar

No arbitrator is going to award him less than that for one year.

I’m not assuming anything.  I’m suggesting that Poile can negotiate a contract with Weber, sign him to said contract and then decide where to go from there.

If you have Rinne, Suter & Weber under contract you can then decide if you want to keep Rinne & Suter or Suter & Weber or Weber & Rinne.

And then you trade the odd man out.

Or you sign all three and then quietly accept offers on all three and trade whichever one nets you the best deal.

OR they could sign Suter and trade Weber’s rights to someone else, netting them a better return than they would get if they shopped the impendin UFA Ryan Suter…

You can’t honestly think there isn’t a reason they’re going after their impending UFA before their impending RFA, can you?

Posted by Garth on 01/25/12 at 12:22 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Posted by Primis

I usually agree with you Primis, buy your pessimism has put you off track on this.
I agreed with JJ.
————————————————
Read the entire post, and follow the Holik link on Subban (great insite).
I bookmarked the Holik site as a blog to watch.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 01/25/12 at 01:21 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Or you sign all three and then quietly accept offers on all three and trade whichever one nets you the best deal.

Okay, Garth, I get what you’re saying now. But look at it from Suter’s position. He knows there’s no way in hell that the Preds can afford to keep both he and Weber at anything close to market value. They just don’t have the money.

So, why would he sign a market-rate contract along with Weber when he knows that he’s more than likely the one who will get traded. He has much more control, and probably can get more money, if he just goes to free ageny where he has a chance to decide his own fate.

Bottom line is I just can’t envision a scenario where the Preds can sign Suter before July 1 given what he knows about their financial situation. But, shocking as it may seem, I’ve actually been known to be wrong before. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/25/12 at 02:28 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 01/25/12 at 11:28 AM ET

The one thing I would say is that I think that publicly saying he’s going after Suter first shows where his allegiance lies (as much as the 19 talk about Suter being the better all-around player than Weber, you have to think that there are others including people in the Preds org who agree).

Of course they also know, as we do, that Weber is the bigger name and thus the bigger draw in the trade market.

If he wins, or is even a finalist, for the Norris, Weber’s stock goes up even more, regardless of the fact that he’s an RFA.  The Preds could conceivably get a decent draft pick in return for Weber if they trade him between the end of the season and the draft.

Posted by Garth on 01/25/12 at 03:24 PM ET

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Hey Older than Chelios, how do you know so much about Nashville’s finances?  You been talking to the owners’ accountants?  If so, you might know that one of the primary owners is looking at a $150 million windfall from the sale of his healthcare company.  I think the Preds might be able to afford Suts and Webs with some of that money.  You know, “it’s simple math.”  And we have plenty of room under the cap (second most to only the Islanders)-way more than the Red Menace. 

Hey Primis, interesting that you contend Det and Chi are “clearly better” than Preds and Blues “at least their equal.”  Last I checked we have beaten St Louis 3 of 3 games this season, Chi 2 of 3 with the 3rd an OTL, and while we’ve only taken one of 3 from Detroit our record against them in the last few seasons is among the best in the league let alone the division.  Ask the Wings if they enjoy playing us. And after tonite’s ongoing whipping of Detroit by the Habs, only Nashville has a winning road record in the division.

Posted by drmatt1965 from Nashville on 01/25/12 at 11:28 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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