The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/15/12 at 05:35 PM ET
Updated 3x at 6:33 PM: I hate following this sort of thing early on in the process, but Smashville 24/7’s Ryan Porth and the Tennessean’s Joshua Cooper noted the following from Predators GM David Poile, who was speaking to reporters on a conference call after trading Anders Lindback to Tampa Bay:
Poile believes [Ryan] Suter will test the market
Poile says its unlikely he trades Suter’s rights. Poile worried about him testing market.
Cooper went and disappeared after posting this quip...
Poile says he thinks Suter will go to July 1
So we’ll see what transpires in terms of context over the next couple of hours.
Update: From ESPN 1025’s Wily Daunic:
David Poile says Suter’s camp has NOT asked that a new deal match Weber’s contract dollar for dollar. @1025TheGame
Poile told us he is not planning on trading Suter’s rights and that his feeling is that Sutes wants to test the market July 1 @1025TheGame
Poile: There is precedent for players (Sully, Ward, Kovalchuk) testing market and then returning to teams, but it obviously is not ideal.
Poile can’t put puzzle together until he knows Suter’s deal. If Suter gets offer July 1 & asks Preds to match, it would be very complicated.
Update #2: USA Today’s Kevin Allen listened to Poile’s comments…
Poile said he continues to hope that the Predators can re-sign defenseman Ryan Suter, even though Poile concedes that Suter will probably explore his options after July 1. The Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild are teams that appear to covet Suter and have the resources to sign him, but there will be other suitors.
“I’m not negative about our chances,” Poile said. “I still believe we are a good fit for what Ryan wants in a team. I will continue to be optimistic that he will re-sign.”
And here’s the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper’s report:
Predators general manager David Poile said Friday that he believes defenseman Ryan Suter will test unrestricted free agency on July 1.
If the Predators and the 27-year-old all-star don’t come to terms by that date, Suter can sign with another team without compensation for Nashville.
“Unless something changes in the hear future, he’s going to take a peek at July 1,” Poile said. “We’re going to be in consistent contact with him, and I’m certainly hoping, as he said to me a week ago, that he’s not going to make a sudden decision … and we’re going to have some conversations after he has talked to these different teams.”
Poile also said that he does not want to trade Suter’s negotiating rights leading up to July 1.
“We’ve never entertained any offers for him,” Poile said. “He has never said he doesn’t want to play for us. He just said he wants to take a look.”
Update #2.5: If you want to read Al Muir and Adrian Dater practice, “Who can be more grating and annoying while talking about Ryan Suter and Zach Parise” over on Sports Illustrated, enjoy, but it’s two Space Canoes having a good old time over there, and it’s not necessarily pleasant to read:
MUIR: And that apathy’s about to cost ‘em the face of their franchise. I don’t see any way the Devils hold on to Parise with bankruptcy looming and the ownership situation unresolved. They *might* be able to retain Marty because he has no interest in going anywhere else at this point in his career, but Zach? In the words of the great Gordon Gano, he’s gone, daddy, gone.
DATER: I would agree in a nanosecond, if not for one guy: [Devils GM Lou] Lamoriello. He’s got a way of getting guys to come back to him, to want to do good things for him. He’s got that Horse Whisperer quality to him.
My hunch says Parise is gone, daddy, gone, but Lou might be able to work some more magic. I’ll say this for Parise: I loved the quote he gave the local media in Joisey saying “No” with an admirable tinge of contempt while responding to the question of whether he’d ever sign with the Rangers.
MUIR: To quote the great Kevin Bacon in Diner, that was a smile, wasn’t it? That’s exactly what we need more of. That I’d-rather-wear-a-dress-than-your-stinking-jersey hatred. I mean, as a fan of the Red Sox, I was disgusted to see guys like Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon sign with the Yankees. It felt like a betrayal of every ounce of passion that Sox fans had poured into them and the team. Parise gets that investment. I don’t care who you root for: you gotta respect the guy for that.
So where do you think he goes? Minnesota? Detroit? And what about Ryan Suter? Looks like he’s ruled out playing for any Eastern teams. Time to ask Drew Miller if he’d mind giving up that No. 20 Red Wings sweater yet?
DATER: Oh, you better believe it. Detroit is going to throw a LOT of money at Suter and Parise if they are on the open market. I think I said it here before—the Wings have been targeting those two guys for a while now. Ken Holland is probably in a moderate stage of panic these days. He just lost Nick Lidstrom, his team hasn’t been able to make it past the second round the last three years WITH Lidstrom, and he’s facing—for the first time—a post-Lidstrom-a-lyptic world.
So I’ll say Detroit is the favorite to get at least one of those two guys, if not both. The Wings currently have $26.2 million of cap space. (Huge asterisk here being that the current cap number of $70.3 million could be meaningless when the next CBA talks finish.) Colorado, by the way, has the most cap space—nearly $40 million. They still have to sign guys like Duchene, O’Reilly, Johnson, etc. but don’t rule out the Avs trying to disrupt the conventional wisdom July 1.
MUIR: Adrian, you keep talking like that and Nurse Ratched is gonna have to up your meds. The Avs are YEARS and several pieces away from being a contender. Why would any player with control of his destiny pick Colorado now—unless he’s a recent Cup-winning goalie looking for some place with fresh air and lots of land to build a nice post-economic meltdown shelter for the wife and kids?
Update #3: Smashville 24/7’s Ryan Porth posted a Flash audio clip of David Poile’s conference call if you’re interested.
Update #3.5: SI’s Stu Hackel did a much better and much easier and more pleasant-to-read summary of the last two days’ worth of free agent and trade scuttlebutt. If you haven’t been religiously following Twitter and ten different websites over the past week, it’s an excellent catcher-upper, and frankly, it’s a great UFA primer, period:
Along with Parise, [Rick] Nash is the best offensive talent who might be on the move. Lots of commentators say this is not a particularly stellar year for unrestricted free agents, but there are some other potentially good scorers available including Hudler, P.A. Parenteau and Olli Jokinen. There are also potential UFAs, like Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner, who may have slipped offensively but they still bring experience, grit and other intangibles, and can occasionally contribute to scoring.
There are also important depth players available. If you don’t believe depth forwards are important, think of how much the Penguins missed not having Max Talbot in the postseason this spring; and how his energy, penalty-killing and checking for the Flyers helped knock his old team out. Like most depth players, Talbot’s free agency signing last year was not a big story compared to players like Brad Richards, Erik Cole, Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr, who regularly produce bigger numbers. But when you look at how important the depth players on the Kings and Devils played during their runs to the Cup final, you see their worth.
With the Bruins retaining both Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell last week, the field of valuable depth guys who might hit the open market in July shrunk by two but grew in importance. Those who remain might be in position to cash in.
If he’s not re-signed by L.A., Jarret Stoll could be an important ingredient for a club next season. Same with their fourth-line center Colin Fraser. The Devils entire fourth line — the CBGBs Line of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier – are pending UFAs. Paul Gaustad, who was highly sought-after at the trade deadline, is a pending UFA. So is Travis Moen, Brandon Prust, John Madden, Jordan Tootoo, Aaron Asham, Zenon Konopka, Taylor Pyatt, Adam Burish, Dominic Moore and Sami Pahlsson, players who have proven themselves as being able to play a role that every team needs.
There are a few blueliners aside from Suter who could make a splash if they hit the market, starting with Bryce Salvador, who had a strong playoffs for New Jersey. If he doesn’t re-up in Philadelphia, Matt Carle will get lots of interest. The Stars’ Sheldon Souray enjoyed a comeback year. If hits July 1, it will create a significant hole on Dallas’ roster. Big Hal Gill is still a very good penalty killer and shot blocker. Dennis Wideman is coming off a good year for Washington. And those are just a few of the experienced d-men who could be on the loose next month.
Almost all the goaltenders who are potential UFAs are of the backup and depth variety. Only Marty Brodeur is a bona fide starter at this stage of his career, and while he’d very much like to return to New Jersey, he didn’t completely rule out going elsewhere considering the circumstances. His current backup, Johan Hedberg, and former teammate Scott Clemmensen, most recently a Panther, are also pending UFAs.
Among the other potential UFA goalies, 42-year-old Dwayne Roloson could find a new home after stumbling last season in Tampa Bay, but he’ll have to prove that he can handle a large workload at his age. Josh Harding could be a very good signing if he decides to leave Minnesota. The Ducks’ Dan Ellis, injured most of last season, looks to be moving on and could fit as a starter or backup, depending on where he ends up. Chris Mason, who has had some decent seasons, got stuck behind Jets MVP Ondrej Pavelec and might opt for more work elsewhere. Al Montoya played very well on Long Island early last season until a concussion felled him. He never quite regained his form and might fit in well somewhere if he doesn’t stay with the Islanders. A number of veteran backups are potential UFAs too: Brent Johnson, Marty Biron, Alex Auld and Antero Niittymaki.
The complete list of potential unrestricted free agents can be found on TSN’s website and they do a good job of keeping it current when someone inks a new deal. And SI.com will, of course, stay on top of player movements this offseason, providing news and perspective as things start to heat up.
Update #3.75: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms the dealy-o.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.