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Weber wants to stay in Nashville “if we can keep guys around”

Jan 18, 2012, 5:53 PM EDT

Weber and Suter Getty Images

Predators all-star defenseman Ryan Suter remains unsigned past the end of the 2011-12 season, and if you read between the lines, whether he stays or goes will be a big determining factor in whether Predators all-star defenseman Shea Weber stays or goes.

Today, Weber spoke to NHL.com’s Dave Lozo about his future in Nashville.

“It’s a place I love to play,” said Weber. “If we can keep guys around and keep getting better, then it’s a place I want to stay.”

But that’s a big “if” considering Suter has the option to become an unrestricted free agent at the same time perennial contenders like Detroit and Philadelphia could be shopping for a cornerstone defenseman.

Weber, a pending restricted free agent, is eligible to become unrestricted at the end of next season. The 26-year-old is among the leading candidates to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. So yeah, there’d be a market for him, too.

Nashville general manager David Poile has already locked up Pekka Rinne until 2019, signing the goalie to a $49 million contract earlier this season. But if he can’t get Suter to commit and he loses Weber as a result of that, where does that leave the Preds?

Weber also told Lozo that the Predators want to talk contract now, but he’d prefer to do it once the season is over.

  1. elvispocomo - Jan 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I’m sure Nashville would at least like some assurance on what he sees for his future there. If he thinks keeping Suter is a key component then Nashville has some decisions on how much they want to spend. If he’s ok with Suter going as long as they get a good return and maintain a winning attitude, then that makes their job easier.

    Perhaps this isn’t specific to Suter at all and he means maintaining and upgrading the forwards to provide more offensive support for him, but it’s hard to say unless he’s been more direct with the Poile. Him not wanting to talk contract until after the season might mean bad things if the Preds don’t know what he really wants beyond this year.

  2. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    well you better be ready to accept 1/3 less the money you would receive on the open market then…. I have no issues with him wanting to stay but if it’s about money and the team, someone has to go.

    Why do players always have to do this? I want to be a winner but want an all-star roster too, then wonder 3 years later why they haven’t won a Stanley yet.

    I am jealous of Detroit!!!!

    – Wild fan

  3. jakpsu1 - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Ultimately it comes down to where you can win a championship. Outside of Nashville, not to many people think the Predators are going to contend for the Stanley Cup. If you can go to a contender, and make money, why not leave?

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