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Suter or Later


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Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

Whether it’s been a distraction to you as a fan or you’ve decided to just let things run their course, at one point in time over this current NHL season you may have thought about what could possibly happen in the curious case of Ryan Suter and where he may end up in the next 5 months.

The funny thing is that you can no longer single out just Nashville Predators fans for thinking about it, but now the rest of the league wants in (h/t to @predsblog and his retweets showing some of the more preposterous ideas)

Yet, Ryan Suter decieded to drop what some would label as a “bombshell” today at the NHL All-Star media availability when he told reporters that he didn’t think that a contract extension would be finalized by the February 27th trade deadline.

While some thought of this as a sign of the end times for number 20 in Nashville, others misconstrued Suter’s quote and turning it into him telling everyone that he wouldn’t be re-signing at all with the Nashville Predators. The media spun it as Suter simply saying nothing more than exactly what he said. J.R. Lind of the Nashville Scene speculated that his quote could possibly mean that Suter thought it would be a distraction to himself.

Ultimately? None of this matters.

Why? Nashville has 32 games left this season, believe it or not, and they are right in the middle of one of the tightest Central Division races in it’s near 20 year history. Ryan Suter may most definitely be correct saying that this contract talk could be more of a distraction than anything, especially seeing that Nashville has gone 12-2 in it’s previous 14 games.

Now, here is the doozy in all of this: What is David Poile going to do?

Does he trade one of the best defensemen in the league away to a competitor for what could possibly be a King’s Ransom? Does he keep the dynamic duo paired together through the rest of the regular season and risk not being able to re-sign Suter after the season ends? If the latter is the case, don’t forget that Suter could be signed at ANY POINT in time from now through Free Agency. Which means he could be signed today, February 28th, April 1st, June 15th, etc. (h/t to Dirk over at OnTheForecheck.com for that)

Either way, the Nashville Predators will still remain the Nashville Predators.

If Suter decides to re-sign with Nashville before or after the season ends, the Predators would definitely be a better team with him staying on the roster. However, the Nashville Predators would still be the Nashville Predators

If Suter decides to test the fresh, clear blue waters of the Free Agency market and sign with a different team, it would definitely hurt Nashville. However, the Nashville Predators would still be the Nashville Predators.

I’m not going to sit here and sugar coat things, folks. Ryan Suter is a very key cog to the Nashville Predators and their on-going success year after year. Yet, Nashville has proven they can win without Suter this season, albeit it’s a small sample of data (2-1-0, a 3-0 loss to the Rangers before outscoring their opposition 8-2 in two games). Nashville WOULD survive without Ryan Suter.

While the rest of Preds nation is having one giant massive aneurysm, remember one thing:  That no matter what David Poile and ownership accomplish with the current roster and the upcoming contract negotiations, the Nashville Predators are going to survive.

Pekka Rinne is still around for 7 years. Shea Weber and Kevin Klein are around for another year as well. Don’t forget that the Predators still possess one of the deepest cupboard of defensive prospects in the entire league (Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Jon Blum, Teemu Laakso, Mattias Ekholm, etc.). And before any of you who read this start to rattle off that Blum/Laakso/Ekholm couldn’t make and stay up on the Predators roster, don’t doubt for a second that any other team in the NHL wouldn’t be happy to take any one of them off of Nashville’s hands. Oh, there’s also this thing called Free Agency as well (which Nashville could become very intertwined with over the next couple of seasons)

The Predators are going to be closing a chapter of their history this season, regardless of what should happen. However the next chapter should begin, Nashville’s story will go on. The names and faces could possibly change, but the endgame never will: Lord Stanley’s Cup parading down Broadway