Dec 19, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT
The Nashville Predators have won five straight and catapulted themselves back into the top eight of the Western Conference. Given the current playoff picture, Preds GM David Poile is going to have a heck of a decision to make prior to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27, 2012.
“Well, our first choice is to sign them,” Poile told the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman recently. “That hasn’t changed.”
And that would be the best-case scenario.
The worst case would be failing to get a long-term commitment out of Suter prior to the trade deadline, rolling the dice and keeping the duo for the stretch run, missing the playoffs and watching Suter walk away for nothing. Then Weber looks around, doesn’t see Suter and decides he’ll be moving on as well.
Just imagine for a moment if the worst case happened. Would the Preds even be close to a playoff team without Suter and Weber? How would their fans react to losing two of the most popular players in franchise history? Nashville does a great job selling hockey in a non-traditional market, but a winning team is a big part of that. Can you think of a franchise in a southern market that fills the building with a losing team? There isn’t one.
So let’s say Suter tells Poile before the trade deadline that he won’t be signing with the Preds – and that would be the gentlemanly thing for Suter to do if that’s what he decides. What does Poile do? If he can trade Suter and get a significant return – one that might make Weber think twice about leaving – he has to make that deal, right?
As Friedman writes, “Until one or both sign, this story isn’t going away. But Poile’s going to make us sit back and wait for the climax.”
(Gotta be a better way to say that.)
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 1
- Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists 5
- Chicago to start Darling in Game 6 17
- Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops 26
- Weber out for remainder of series, but ‘did not suffer an ACL injury’ 6
- Report: Oilers’ Lowe removed from Hockey Ops role 19
- Stayin’ Alive: Canucks stage comeback of their own, send series back to Calgary 5
- Preds, Forsberg finally solve Darling, push series to Game 6 76
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 3
- Report: Chiarelli to join Oilers’ front office 31
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (174)
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ (98)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (88)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)