May 8, 2012, 1:53 AM EDT
For the rest of the night and maybe a few more days, the Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn suspensions will likely get a lot of discussion regarding the Nashville Predators’ semifinals defeat. The longer-term question from that letdown against the Phoenix Coyotes is thornier and has much bigger implications for the franchise: did the team do enough to keep Shea Weber and especially Ryan Suter in the fold?
No word from team captain Weber just yet, but Suter’s response to Jim Diamond is noncommittal (but to some, maybe a little disturbing).
“Right now I am kind of disappointed about how tonight went and I haven’t really thought about it,” Suter said.
Diamond points out that Suter repeated the question about his future before answering it, which Diamond says is “usually not a good sign.” As a fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” I would have to agree; some might view that practice as giving yourself time to either a) lie or b) sugarcoat the truth.
(Another good way to buy yourself time after a tough question is saying “that’s a great question.”)
More than just the big guns
Now, Suter and Weber aren’t the only pending free agents for GM David Poile to consider, just the biggest ones. Suter’s the biggest question because he’s an unrestricted free agent while Weber is restricted.
They still have other questions to answer. Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Radulov seem increasingly unlikely to be back after the suspension debacle, but time can heal those wounds. (Andrei’s brother Sergei Kostitsyn is an RFA, like Radulov.) The Predators gave up a first-round pick for Paul Gaustad, so his contract situation should be interesting as well. Beyond that the team has plenty of other questions to answer (see the full scenario here), including a new deal for Colin Wilson (RFA).
What’s your early read, though? Is Suter as good as gone? Tell all.
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