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With Suter gone, can the Predators sign Shea Weber?

Jul 5, 2012, 9:35 AM EDT

Weber and Suter Getty Images

If signing Shea Weber to a long-term contract was important before, it’s vital now that Ryan Suter has decided to take his talents to St. Paul, Minnesota.

“I’m going to turn my attention to that, and I’ve told to Shea on numerous occasions he’s the captain of our team. I want to build our team around him.” Predators GM David Poile said in a report from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean. “He has been terrific in the captain’s role, as a player. I hope he will re-sign with us.”

Weber has been a bigger part of the Predators’ team than Suter. Weber is their team captain, a two-time Norris Trophy finalist, and over the last three years he has bested Suter in goals, points, hits, and blocked shots.

All the same, losing Suter is a big blow and the question now is if Poile can convince Weber to stay even after failing to re-sign his long-time teammate and fellow all-star defenseman.

It would help if Poile took steps to fill the void left by Suter, but that won’t be an easy task. There’s not a whole lot left on the unrestricted free agent market. They have the trade chips necessary to make a big splash, but it’s not clear if Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester or any appealing defensemen will become available.

For what it’s worth, the Predators do have some promising young blueliners in Jonathon Blum and Ryan Ellis. Losing Suter is something that they might be able to overcome, but they have to convince Weber of that. Otherwise, it might not be long before they’re trying to fill the void left by two all-star defensemen.

  1. tmoore4075 - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I agree it’ll be tough. Hey we’ve lost Hamuis and Suter over the last couple of years you know you wanna stay right?

    Not sure what they will do. He seems to want to try the FA market next year otherwise he’d be signing I’d think. Will be interesting to see what happens this off-season for him.

  2. scionofflame - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    You forgot to mention some other young blueliners like Roman Josi and Mathias Ekholm. 😛 But close enough! I think if we throw an attractive enough offer, Shea will sign.

  3. lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    You know, Poile made all this kerfuffle about making Nashville into a contender, but after the lame-duck signings of Gaustad and Kostitsyn, as well as the Radulov disaster, it may not have made Nashville a particularly attractive choice in the end for Suter. I bought into the idea that Nashville was on the rise, and I sincerely hoped they were becoming a threat in the West, but I’m really not so sure anymore. Their offense was relatively anemic, with 4 lines of mediocre to decent players. Their top players have essentially peaked, and aside from Smith and maybe Wilson, there’s not much else to look forward to. I like Nashville; they’ve shown that a southern team can actually draw fans without having to win a Cup first, and their fans seem to truly enjoy the game without merely acknowledging their existence. All the best to you guys but I think there still would have been a lot of work to be done even if Suter had stayed down there.

  4. liamj55 - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Shea Weber was born to wear the orange & the black.

  5. mydadyourmom - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Hope he stays. Team deserves it.

  6. bcjim - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    “Losing Suter is something that they might be able to overcome, but they have to convince Weber of that.”

    This notion of Weber’s feeling being hurt that Suter is gone is either overblown or Weber is out of touch with reality. Unless he goes to MN too (not happening) then his days with Suter are over no matter what so that should not be a factor in whether he re-signs with Nashville.

    Im not sure how or why the cap has seemingly grown so big. How in the world could Pitt (for example) have been in the running for Parise? With Malkin and Crosbys making huge $$? And Neal?

    • bcjim - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Never mind, looked at nhlnumbers. I see Pitt pays 4-5 players then hands out Gov cheese vouchers to the rest.

      Must be a fun locker room to be a part of.

  7. vinny3620 - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Shea Weber is going become a flyer

    • bcjim - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      If so, he’ll find that defending in front of Bryz-the-Sieve is not quite like defending in front of Rinne.

  8. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Doubtful Weber will sign with the Preds at any price. They need to trade him. They money is going to be there whether it’s coming from Vancouver, the Wings, the Blackhawks or any other team. He like Suter put his time in there and they wasted the opportunity these past couple seasons. They signed nobody and traded for nobody to put them over the top. Now they are asking Weber to stick around while they try to fill in the blanks? No, not happening. Weber is gone. The Preds still have a top 6 that is a joke, now they lost Suter.

    Window is closed at being a yearly contender for the foreseeable future.

  9. xaf605 - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Oh please give me a break

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