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Suter and Weber will show no hesitation in donning the Winged Wheel
Management has had their eyes on Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
The Nashville Predators are a resilient team. There isn't much flash or creativity, but there is a lot of effort and hard work. The fact that the Predators are a playoff team that lacks a star forward, is a testament to the play of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne.
In a bold move this summer, Rinne resigned with the Predators for seven years and $49 million.
There is no doubt Rinne is one of the premier goalies in the league, but a $7 million cap hit will also make him the highest paid goalie in the NHL. A combination of salary restrictions and enticing offers may well result in one of the defensive stars leaving town.
Shea Weber is a restricted free agent playing out a one-year $7.5 million deal he signed last August. At 26 years of age, Weber has the work ethic and drive to be a Norris candidate for the next decade.
Come this offseason, he will be looking for a multi-year deal at a steep $8-9 million a year. With just under $6 million in cap space, the Wings would have to deal some cap.
Is he worth an $8 million salary?
At 6'4" and 240 lbs, Weber has the presence of an NHL giant. He broke into the league as a stalwart defensemen, but has blossomed into a patient two-way player.
He shows no hesitation in bringing the puck out of the zone. Let's not forget he's a right shot, which would be great from the point.
Because Weber is an RFA, first and second round picks will be sacrificed. In addition to the picks, the Wings would have to throw in a top-six forward and other potential veteran player.
A five-year, $40 million deal is feasible.
Ryan Suter is an unrestricted free agent.
At the age of 27, Suter is entering his prime, with his best years in front of him. He only made $3.5 million last year, and will be looking for mulit-year deal as well. Most expect his contract to payout between $5-7 million a year.
Suter plays well in each phase. He's a defensemen with great instincts and feel for the game. At 6'1", 195 lbs, Suter is the lighter-footed and more mobile of the pair. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with great positioning and stick work.
As Jeremy Gover of Section303 put it:
Suter is a more complete player without Weber by his. And he proved this recently. After Dallas Stars defenseman Mark Fistric knocked Weber out for four games with this hit on December 23, Suter averaged nearly 30:00 per game, all the while making rookie Roman Josi look like a seasoned veteran as the number two defenseman.
In Nashville, Suter puts up about 40-45 points a year. In Detroit, he could see that number increase tremendously. In other words, a guy currently a Norris darkhorse could become a perennial candidate.
In the last year of his deal, the Predators will want highly valued assets and picks.
Detroit would have to give up a first or second round pick as well as a top-six forward and replacement defenseman.
Suter would expect a four or five-year deal at between $6-7 million a year.