Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Suter Watch: Potential Suitors

In my last post on the Suter Watch, I mentioned that it would appear that Ryan Suter would more than likely be heading to free agency. Shortly thereafter, multiple media outlets were reporting that Suter had broken off talks with Nashville for an extension and will go to free agency on July 1st. 

So now that it is clear Suter will be available to anyone come Sunday, here is a look at the potential teams who could sign the free agent D-man:

Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers lost their best defenseman and team leader, Chris Pronger halfway through the 2011-12 season when he suffered a nasty concussion. The timetable for his return is unknown at this point. And on July 1st, their next best defenseman, Matt Carle will become a free agent as well. So the Flyers could potentially make a run for Suter if they so choose to move on from Carle. They are viewed more as a long shot to sign him, but they should be considered nonetheless. 

Nashville Predators: The Predators made a strong push to resign Suter this offseason. But, he has chosen to test free agency and see what is out there for him. As it has been noted many times, Suter could simply be testing free agency, but ultimately he could just re-sign with the team he came up with. Nashville may not give him the best offer, in terms of money or future, but it should be seen as a strong possibility that he returns to the Music City.

Minnesota Wild: No team could use an established defenseman on this list more than Minnesota. They have some good young d-men on their roster, but they lack a veteran presence and a d-man with good offensive skills. Minnesota perhaps, presents the best chance for Suter to win long term with their young prospects set to begin their entry level contracts. But, it would be a few years before Minnesota can potentially be a Cup contender. That is something other teams on this list, can offer him more instantly. 

Detroit Red Wings: There is a gigantic hole on the #1 defensive pairing for Detroit entering 2012-13. They lose their team leader and face of their franchise in Niklas Lidstrom when he retired earlier this month. The Wings do present a great chance to win down the road, and they are one of the most revered franchises in the NHL. The Wings are considered a favorite to land Suter, but the question is: Does he want to fill the shoes left by the legend, Lidstrom.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Before the NHL Draft, the Penguins had little cap space to even be considered in the mix for Suter. But a couple of trades later (Jordan Staal, Zbynek Michalek), the Pens have sufficient cap space to go after Suter and, if they can move Paul Martin, Zach Parise too. The Penguins need a defenseman much like Suter to man the powerplay with Kris Letang, and one who can provide efficient work in the defensive zone (See the Penguins defensive play in the playoffs against Philly). Pittsburgh, much like Detroit, is a top canidate to land Ryan Suter's services.

This is the third post in the Suter Watch series. To read the others click here and here

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