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So…what do the Predators do now?

Jul 4, 2012, 1:26 PM EDT

Ryan Suter, Shea Weber Getty Images

They tried hard to keep Ryan Suter, but the Nashville Predators are watching him walk away to Minnesota instead. With a gaping hole on the blue line to fill next to Shea Weber, the Predators are at a crossroads for their franchise.

Just back in February they went all-in trying to prove to Suter and Weber that they could win and win now. They locked up goalie Pekka Rinne to a seven-year deal to keep at least one franchise player in town.

Now? Trepidation.

They could always go after free agent Matt Carle. The problem they face there is dealing with the same teams that they were up against in keeping Suter. Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia will all be hot after Carle and with money to burn to do it.

Should the Predators fall short with Carle, there’s another option that fans won’t like hearing: trade Shea Weber.

Weber would command a huge return on the trade market, and trying to deal him at the deadline, should things get to that point, is dangerous. With Weber not having an extended contract, teams would be nervous to give up a lot for a guy who could just leave on July 1. Summer trades also allow teams the freedom to shuffle pieces around without the time constraints of the deadline.

If GM David Poile gets the feeling Weber isn’t wanting to stick around, moving him out as soon as possible could be in his best interest.

One thing is for sure, the Predators cannot risk losing Weber for nothing they way they did with Suter. Poile refused to trade his rights believing he could re-sign Suter. Now that he’s gone without so much as a replacement, that’s a mistake that cannot be repeated.

Related:

So…what do the Devils do now?

So…what do the Red Wings do now?

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Look to trade Weber and stock up on prospects/picks? Other than that I don’t know what else they can do.

  2. hermanbates - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    I mean, this is a worn out line, but look to the Rangers. They’ve got a deep stable of young defenseman, and Weber could easily get you MDZ or McDonagh, Tim Erixon and Dylan McIlrath. Along with other pieces. But I could see that move being discussed.

  3. sknut - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Why can’t they sign him, make a similar offer to what they did to Suter and get some more offense. I still think Nashville is a good team and has a lot going for them.

  4. kitshky - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I’m just stoked that we’re gonna get to see Suter (MN) going up against Weber (VAN) in the playoffs in a year or two…

    (and no this isn’t wishful thinking, its fact, I have sources. Course … they’re the voices in my head but theyre still about as reliable as most recorded “sources”out there)

  5. sergeikremlin - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    The Predators offer Weber $8M per year over a long term that is to Weber’s preference. At least 5 years though. This will make him the highest per/year paid d-man in the league, and deservedly so, as he is #1.

    If he turns it down, you acknowledge the long-term, big picture, forget your ego, and look to raid the cupboards of teams around the NHL, and start the bidding war.

  6. dkphilly1122 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Philly and other teams will offer Weber 8 million a year over 12-13 years as long as the new CBA will allow it…..5 years won’t work for a guy like Weber, especially seeing Suter just got a massive deal and he’s not AS good as Weber is. Suter’s good, Weber’s easily better and made Ryan look a little better. Nashville can have Carle, he sucks and gives up goal after goal when on the ice. I use to like the guy paired up with Pronger, now I realize it was just Pronger making Carle look good for all he was doing back there. I like Nashville, but i’d love to see Weber in Philly. It be nice if Homer and Nashville’s GM work a trade out for young prospects if they can sign and trade Weber. Them two are supposedly real good friends, so make it happen. I’d trade away a few young studs/ prospects to get Weber. We lack Defense and Weber would fill that void.

  7. hines86for6 - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    The Preds still finished with the 3rd most points in the west last year. Losing Ryan freaking Suter does not make us chopped liver.

    The Preds have the most cap space in the league and can make Weber the highest paid player now that Suter is gone. No one will outbid us for Weber.

    o yeah, Wild fans, you just gave 100 mill to a guy who wasn’t the best blue liner on his team and is a one time all star.

  8. scionofflame - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    No need for hate on MIN. Good for you guys, and I hope it ends up working out well. More teams need to be competitive in the league.

    But the Predators work to fill the slot Suter leaves empty on the top-line, sign Weber to a long-term deal and go from there. We’re still able to make the playoffs, no doubt.

    The Predators themselves have a lot of great young defensive prospects in Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Jonathan Blum and Mathias Ekholm. Hal Gill is good for a veteran presence. We pick up a decent top-liner (Matt Carle, Jay Bouwmeester, etc, etc) to play with Weber and the Preds are still in decent shape.

    Next thing they need to focus on is a good scoring forward, tbh.

    • danphipps01 - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      Guess it’s time to get in the Bobby Ryan line?

      • scionofflame - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        I’d absolutely say Bobby Ryan is a good target, yes. We’re still pretty solid on defense…it’s that offensive punch that the Preds lack. Ryan might fit the bill.

  9. savior72 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Grab a bucket Preds fans, your ship is sinking. Ellis, Suter, Tootoo, Radulov have jumped off and yes Weber will be gone next year. Keep giving out stupid contracts like the Paul Gustov one and you’ll be on the sea floor before you know it.

    • scionofflame - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:41 PM

      The hell are you talking about? We have to spend $15 million or so just to get to the cap FLOOR. Gaustad played well physically for us and won a damn lot of faceoffs. Was a good deal.

      Tootoo wasn’t being used and chose to leave, Radulov was a distraction and didn’t live up to the hype, and while Suter was a loss the team will live. Not sure where you’re going with Ellis, if you mean Ryan Ellis. Kid is still part of our system.

  10. savior72 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Sorry Paul Guastad lol

  11. crise1 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Ill tell you what the preds need to do, cut ties with the franchise and head up to markham ontario or quebec city.

  12. williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Get a new GM?

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