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David Poile isn’t letting this Suter thing go

Jul 6, 2012, 5:34 PM EDT

David Poile Getty Images

David Poile remains beside himself that Ryan Suter chose to sign in Minnesota instead of Nashville. The Predators’ general manager just can’t understand why any defenseman would pass up the opportunity to play with Shea Weber, even if’s not close to home or in a traditional hockey market.

“Whether this franchise is in Timbuktu, the one point of not choosing to stay and play with Shea Weber, I will never, ever understand that,” Poile said Friday, as per The Tennessean.

On Wednesday, Poile called Suter’s decision a “missed opportunity” to combine with Weber to form the “best defensive pair ever in the National Hockey League history.”

Worse for Poile, Suter may not be the only star defenseman Nashville ends up losing. Weber has yet to sign a long-term contract and is only tied to the Preds until July 1, 2013.

Can the GM convince his captain to stay?

“[Weber] believes in us, sees himself as the leader of our hockey club, and I think he, a lot like us, is disappointed with the outcome with Ryan,” Poile said. “So having said that, we have to both get back up on the horse and find a way to fill the hole and move forward. Hopefully that will be together. Right now, if you ask me, I think Shea feels that way.”

Weber, a restricted free agent, chose not to file for arbitration, leaving the following potential scenarios:

– The two sides negotiate a contract.

– Weber signs an offer sheet that Nashville can either match or decline. If the Preds decline, they get compensation in the form of draft picks, as laid out here. If they match a one-year deal, they can’t trade him.

– Weber is traded.

  1. scionofflame - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I think Poile is more angry with himself than anything. Point is that letting Suter go is one of Poile’s very few missteps in a very long career as a great GM. I have faith that he can negotiate a good contract with Weber.

    Even if he can’t, it’s not the end of the Predators. We’re in better shape than some other teams even then, though it would certainly hurt us.

    And keep in mind that just because Poile is angry/disappointed doesn’t mean he’s not working towards a new solution. 😛

    • paperlions - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

      I think Poile is frustrated and angry at Suter because Poile doesn’t understand that Suter doesn’t share his value system and didn’t use the priorities that Poile thinks he should have used in making his decision.

      As a GM, no matter what you do, you still rely on players making decisions….and sometimes, no matter what you do, a player is going to leave because he wants something you don’t have to offer. This seems like one of those times.

    • kgod30 - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      I agree that Poile is frustrated that he did not lock up Suter last year. Bottom line, when you let a player get to free agency this is a likely scenario. Poile has been a great GM, but his emotional reaction speaks more to a business mistake than a fair criticism of Suter no matter what he did or did not say. I will also say that part of Nashville’s success was tied to Leipold allowing Poile to build a foundation over a longer period before he sold the team. Leipold tried to win in Nashville and saw an opportunity to own the Wild and took it. It looks like Leipold is going to take the same approach of building a foundation, but he has the flexibility of a bigger hockey market in Mini.

  2. pens919209 - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    All of this bellyaching by Poile is getting a little old. Even if he felt slighted by Ryan Suter, he doesn’t need to air it for all to hear – especially future free agents and current members of his team. Besides, he still has the better defenseman in Shea Weber and now has some cap room to play with. Maybe he can use it to get Nashville a scorer via trade or free agency.

    Look to the future, Poile, and stop moaning about the past.

  3. wpgjetter - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Poile needs to stop whinning and crying foul about Suter. Done is done already. Move on … make whatever deals he needs to make for the betterment of his team and learn from the experience. The only thing happening now is other players (both present and future) are seeing how childish Poile is acting…and that certainly wont go over well in future negotiations with anyone.

  4. williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Maybe Poile SHOULD just let it go instead of digging the ditch deeper and almost demanding that people look more closely at how he’s run his team over the last year or so. How did three solid seasons and a really well built team go south so soon? Don’t ask him…he only runs the team!

    -Letting a top drawer FA leave without compensation

    -Having no plan B in place if that player left

    -Pouting publicly for days about letting that player leave

    -Making private negotiations public, in an attempt to look good after losing that player, making himself and his team look bad to future and current players

    -Alienating his team’s best player by letting that player go

    -Bringing back Radulov during the playoff run

    -Letting a fan/team favorite go, after his best season, to their biggest divisional rival

    -Signing his goalie to a huge contract without intending to lock up his top two d men

    -Trading a 1st round pick for a 4th line center at the deadline and re-signing him to 4 year/$13 million dollar contract, which included substantial raise, after he had a terrible end to the regular season and playoffs

    -Bungling last off season’s RFA contracts

    I know I’m repeating all of this from a thread earlier today, but I wouldn’t need to do it if Poile would just shut up, stop blaming his troubles on others and act like a professional. Seriously, how does Poile continuing to bad mouth Weber’s friend and teammate make it more likely he re-signs there long term?

    • pens919209 - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      You also have to wonder what all of this consternation over Suter… who, last time I checked, is only one player… says to the other guys on the team. It’s as if Poile’s saying “You guys are nothing compared to the player we just lost, so I’m just going to mope now.”

      Stunning leadership there, really.

      • williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        He’s been a GM for about thirty years between the Caps and the Preds. You would think he would be a bit more professional about this. Instead, his bitterness is now made public-once again-as it seeps down into the team, it’s players and their fans.

        I’m guessing his nominations for the GM of the year award end next year.

    • scionofflame - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      I’ll go point by point here.

      – Letting him leave was bad, but he had faith. Naive perhaps, but understandable.

      – He does have Plan B in place, however the time it took Suter to make his decision cut down some of those options. The idea that he DOESN’T have people he’s looking at is ridiculous.

      – I wouldn’t call it pouting. People ask, so he’s being honest in his disappointment.

      – Again, people are asking and he gives out some details. He’s not the only GM to do this.

      – He didn’t ‘let Suter go’, Suter decided to leave of his own accord. He didn’t want to be in Nashville. Nothing Poile said was going to change that, and Ryan was not mistreated.

      – Jordin Tootoo left of his own accord, turning down an offer the Preds made him. He was bitter with Trotz and the organization for benching him so often.

      – Radulov looked like a very good forward to add to the organization and it turned out bad. Not the only time this has ever happened, but the lesson is learned. No one can ever come back if someone doesn’t give them a chance, and Poile did.

      – Pekka was the first contract he negotiated, and immediately after that he DID try to lock down Suter and Weber. That didn’t happen obviously, but not for lack of trying.

      – Gaustad is still a great faceoff man and most fans feel he’s worth the money. Will he be? Time will tell. Chill out.

      – RFA qualifying offers was a bad move, sucked. But it’s one misstep of very few.

      Poile is not blaming his trouble on others, and he’s not badmouthing Suter. He’s explaining the situation and expressing disappointment. God forbid someone be human. He did wish Suter well on the radio interview he did just today, and outlined his plans for moving on from here. I doubt Poile would manage being a GM for 30 years without professionalism and intelligence. Also wouldn’t be a GM of the Year nominee for every year the award has been offered so far.

      • wpgjetter - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        I am not commenting what-so-ever on Poile’s track record from the past. What I am saying is that his continued whinning in the press over what happened with Suter is very childish. Your lame excuse that people are asking…well here is a phrase that all sports GM’s have used often….NO COMMENT

      • williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I respect your attempt to stand up for your guy, but he’s doing your team more harm each time he whines like this in public. The moves I listed are debatable, but I’ve gotta think Poile looks worse to everybody except bummed out Predator fans (and New Jersey fans, by proxy) each time he does this. And that includes all other NHL players and their union. It was another mis-step for DP to continue with his public moping-making this post, comment thread and the larger conversation possible.

        Once again, how does this all help convince Weber to re-sign?

  5. claysbar - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    He’s just trying to establish a Jack Torrence persona for the negotiations with Weber.

  6. zaksyuk - Jul 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Maybe he is crying and cutting his wrists so shea weber wont leave because he will feel bad. Maybe if weber does leave Poile will kill himself idk

    • clavette - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      you should have cut your own wrists before writing something so stupid

      • zaksyuk - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        I did but i still posted it !

  7. pone27 - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I agree with everything most of what you said williplett until you speak about Rinne. The guy has numbers that can contend with the top 3-5 goalies in the league. A great goalie comes before ANY other position. You build from the back and go forward (see the top teams in the NHL.)

    Besides that, I agree with Poile up until he starts going public with it. Anyone who plays hockey wants to play either with a solid D partner if on D or a solid center if you play the wing. , so he has a point there.

    Regardless, the Preds now have cash to get a new Dman. Never know, Suter may not play so well with not a guy like Weber.

    • williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      I agree with a good chunk of that, but both Rinne and his deal looked a whole lot better with a happy Weber and his pal Suter in front of him. He’s a top notch goalie, but asking what he looks like without two great d men in front of him seems reasonable, right? I’ve heard countless angry Preds fans say that Suter looked far better because of Weber; what does Rinne look like without either of them?

      Questions that will be answered on the ice over the next few years, I guess.

  8. ineedmorehossa - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    maybe he’s trying to light a fire under his teams butt, so they play with a chip on their shoulder for next year.

  9. vshehane - Jul 6, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Suter’s leaving had nothing to do with Poile. His jealousy of Weber had everything to do with it. We watched Suter make half assed efforts all year. He was gone long before this. He is an incessant whiner and in the long run he won’t be missed.

    • vindicatus - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      Suter sounds just like his BFF, Parise. Parise was jealous of all the attention that Kovalchuk gets (and deserves.) Captain Silver Medal and Suter were in cahoots all year texting like teenaged girls planning to get away together.

      It’s pathetic. People will thumbs it down, but it’s the truth.

      • williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        You were right about two things, vindicatus: that WAS pathetic and I DID give it a thumbs down.

        Other than that, it sounds like just more bitter whining and name calling. If Lou and Poile had done their jobs and locked down their soon to be free agents-at the risk of being mocked by you because they were texting like teenaged girls-this thread would never need to exist.

        But, since it does, this Wild fan thanks you for both Parise and the extra compensatory pick he brought with him for leading NJ to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, per the Zidlicky. We’ll put both to good use. Sorry, you still have to keep Zids; his spot has been filled.

      • williplett - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        I meant conditional pick instead of compensatory pick, my mistake.

        I’m going to let “The Zedlicky” stand. I meant the Zidlicky trade, but I have a feeling that-even with that E instead of I-most folks knew what I meant. The Wild fans certainly do, seeing as it shocked and stunned us that we were able to get a 2nd, a 3rd and a handful of spare parts for that locker room cancer. Glad he picked up his game just to help get his old team that extra pick.

        Goodnight, sorry for my thoughtless typos and thanks once again.

  10. bobhpine - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    You have to respect Poile for not trading Suter and making a run…but come on man, that’s the risk of such a move.

    Management is supposed to be above whining. Shero probably liked trading Staal like a hole in the head, but he wasn’t about to get nothing for the guy.

    Weber has to be thinking twice about committing to play for a team run by this clown. Clown front office decision bro.

  11. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Everything you pointed out is exactly how Doug Risebrough, hopefully for your sake, Poile doesn’t run them into the ground.

    Lost Gaborik, Demitra, and Rolston all for nothing, just like Ryan Suter.

    Just like Poile, Risebrough traded a 1st round pick for Demitra. He left after a couple of seasons for nothing. It was for the 15th overall pick I believe. The Kings took Trevor Lewis who is serviceable for the Champs.

    Everyone thought the Wild were going to make a big splash at the trade deadline, the year they won the division. His big splash was Chris Simon.

    Locked up Backstrom for 6 million a year and a NTC, gave Bouchard 4 million a year, over paying for Nick Schultz at 3.5 a year.

    Hopefully Poile doesn’t let the Preds go that bad where your at the cap without talent.

  12. bellicosejeff - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    You all do realize Poile vents in the media about Suter because they KEEP ASKING HIM ABOUT SUTER. You don’t honestly think Poile is setting up interviews with the sole purpose of whining about Suter do you? Now, if he’s still going on like this in a month or two, then yes, he probably needs to shut up. Poile’s asked a question, he answers the question.

  13. mojosmagic - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Twelve months ago Poille could have signed Sutter to a long term deal for 20% less then what he got. He didn’t, he’ gone and it’s time to man up.

    • bellicosejeff - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      Easier said than done. Poile tried negotiating with him during the season but Suter wasn’t having it. Chances are pretty good he tried signing him to an extension last summer as well. You can’t make a guy sign. Suter knew he would be leaving the Preds for a while. Instead of being truthful with is GM he strung him along making him think the Preds had a chance. Poile traded away (the first ever Nashville youth hockey participant to get drafted in the NHL and local favorite) Blake Geoffrion as part of the deal to get Gill. Blake was a few years away from making a real impact here and Montreal (for obvious reasons) wanted him. Traded our 1st round pick to get Gaustad (a gross overpayment but that’s what it took to get him apparently) and another pick (can’t recall off the top of my head) to get AK46. He allowed Rad to burn an entire year of his entry level contract in 9 games. He did ALL OF THIS on Suter’s request to show him we’ll do what it take to make our team competitive in the playoffs. Were they the best moves ever, in hindsight no. But Poile didn’t have to do any of that, yet he did, to please Suter. Suter can at least man up himself and be truthful with Poile. Poile could have traded his rights or just moved on to plan B on July 1st. Suter even told Poile he’d give us a chance to match whatever offer he was leaning towards and he didn’t. Obviously Suter doesn’t have to do that, but he said he would. You all talk about Poile needing to man up. Well what about Suter?

      Look, I don’t blame Suter for exercising his RFA status and doing whatever the hell he wants. Lying to your old GM isn’t needed and messed up IMHO. People on here keep talking about how Poile’s truthful responses to the media about Suter may be negatively effecting Shea Weber’s desire to stay here. Did anyone here read the story from Weber’s agent where Weber said he was “in shock” Suter didn’t re-sign with the Preds? ‘IN SHOCK” I would say what Poile is saying is the way the entire organization feels INCLUDING Captain Shea Weber.

      Oh well, life and hockey goes on. Like I said in my previous post. If when asked about Suter in a few months from now. If Poile is still saying these things, then yes, he needs to grow up and stop. As of right now he’s just upset, as is the entire organization.

      Sorry not all of this post was directed towards you. It started off that way then I just went on a rant as a reply to several different posters on here.

      • bobhpine - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        Passionate defense…but you pretty much just outlined how Poile got used like a Thai hooker left on the side of the road, sore, penniless, diseased, lost, thirsty, and wearing a Flyers jersey.

        It’s worse than I thought. How do you let a 27 year old with an expiring contract dictate all those moves without a contract commitment in return? Surer is overrated, but Poile let him walk without getting so much as a kiss on the cheek and a twenty dollar bill on the dresser. if Poile made all those moves to placate Suter and NOT because he thought they were the best chance to win the cup, then he is not incompetent, he is a total fool.

  14. dayno66 - Jul 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Everybody forgets that Lou spurned Parise when Parise was injured last season. Lou blew Parise off when he should have given him a vote of confidence and Parise got the last laugh. Ps: Nashville will always suck because they spend just above the cap floor. Good luck with that.

  15. vindicatus - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Suter had a good thing going with the Preds, but if he was destined to leave, he was a fool to turn down the Wings.

    On the other hand, the Wild are welcome to Captain Invisible. Like the Wild, he’s never won anything of significance. He’ll fit right in up there!

    He was never going to sign with NJ. Even after his injury, Lou wouldn’t have been able to get him to sign. Zach freely admits he was planning this move with Suter for years. At least he admits it NOW, after lying to fans and the administration for 2 years. You’re welcome to have this hustling turncoat accomplish nothing on your lousy team for the next 13 years, just like he never accomplished anything in NJ, probably because he was too distracted calling his mommy and texting his BFF.

    I’ll side with Lou, the best GM in all of sports, over a traitorous mama’s boy every single time. I have a lot of respect for the Preds too. Both of these teams will win Cups before Gomez Jr. or his boyfriend ever get another sniff.

    • williplett - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      I forget: did NJ fans cry this much when Niedermayer split to play with his brother? Seriously, I can’t remember.

      Anyway, thanks for the laughter that your hilariously immature posts are bringing to the people this week. You should probably remind Lou sometime in the next five years that he needs to lock down Henrique; the Wild will likely have some cap space available by the time he becomes a FA.

  16. jernster21 - Jul 7, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    He’s upset because he didn’t stick around to play with Shea Weber? 99.9% chance that Shea Weber isn’t even going to stick around! If he was, he would have signed long term already. If Suter stayed and Weber leaves, what would we hear? I can’t believe Shea didn’t stick around to play with Ryan! Please. I’m getting tired of owners/GMs using the “it’s a business” line on players but when it comes to a player executing his right PER THE CBA, it’s suddenly an unforgivable sin. He EARNED the right to play wherever he wanted and don’t think he his ungrateful of the opportunity that Nashville gave him, because he wouldn’t have had the chance to be where he is without it and I guarantee that doesn’t go unnoticed but Poile is just embarrassing himself and the entire organization at this point.

  17. katolungile - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    When Poile ran the Caps he got past the 2nd round only once… He’s a great GM at building regular season success, but he’s never proven that he can win post season success…

  18. jrmehle - Jul 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    No one can fault Poile for being angry here, but he better stop this public whining quickly before he really damages his reputation and the franchise’s. We get it, you lost one of your big name players. It happens to every team at some point. Instead of whining about it re-tool and move forward. Lou has had the right attitude and he lost the captain of his team.

  19. blomfeld - Jul 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM


    It’s understandable that Poile is upset. But he needs to let this go and instead look on the bright side of things. Suter was obviously a traitor and now the Preds are free of his treachery and money-grubbing demands. He along with Parise are now Minnesota’s problem. Speaking of which, what a joke eh ? 197 million dollars for a couple of clowns who “at best” will do nothing more than just help you make the playoffs ? Man, for money like that you could have bought the entire lesbo WNBA “ten times” over ! :) Anyway, the bottom line is that the Predators now have a clean canvass, with which they can begin painting anew …

  20. purpleguy - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Blomfeld wins the internet today for the dumbest, most ignorant post. First, the contracts are front-loaded and spread out to even out the Wild’s cap hit (with more space and younger, cheaper players on the horizon). Second, his own team and most of the best run teams in the NHL offerred comparable contracts for these players — so the league perception on the quality of the players and thier value equals what they got with the Wild. Third, both took less money than offered elswhere to play close to home — if they were money grubbing traitors, they would’ve gone to the higher bucks with the Flyers, Wings or Pens who have a better chance to win now. They can build a winner with their own efforts, while the Preds and their sub-standard market continue to be a farm team for the rest of the NHL (there’s a reason Liepold sold to get a team in a different market).

  21. phillyphever - Jul 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Well, that’s FA for ya. Bet we’re gonna say the same thing about Anaheim and Bob Murray next year if they can’t get Perry and Getzlaf (sp?) signed (The media in Toronto will be going nuts if those two make it to FA).

  22. ozzyplet7 - Jul 8, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Just stop acting like a baby and get over it! Its done and there’s nothing u can do about it, and it’s Suter’s decision to got Minnesota so pick up ur skirt and worry about your own team and players

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