Jun 25, 2012, 12:20 PM EST
All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Ryan Suter (D)
2011-12 cap hit: $3.5 million
Detroit, Minnesota and Pittsburgh are probably the three favorite landing spots. It’s still possible Suter could end up back in Nashville, though most believe he’s ready to move on. We probably shouldn’t count out Philadelphia either, despite one report he’s not interested in becoming a Flyer and wants to play in the Midwest.
On paper, the Red Wings are the perfect fit. They just lost Nicklas Lidstrom, they’ve got a ton of cap space, they’re a perennial Stanley Cup contender with deep pockets, and they’re geographically close to Suter’s family in Wisconsin.
Of course, Minnesota is close to Wisconsin, too, and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher badly needs to upgrade his defense. Fletcher is also expected to push hard to sign Zach Parise, a Minnesota native and longtime friend of Suter. If he can land one, maybe he can land the other.
The Penguins weren’t really in the conversation until Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek were traded at the draft, freeing up cap space to potentially make a run at Suter and Parise. If Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero can unload Paul Martin as well, there could be room for both.
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