NHL Free Agency: Odds on Each Team Interested in Landing Predators' Ryan Suter
Suter recently spoke about his upcoming contract negotiations, and it doesn't sound good for Nashville.
This is not the first time that Suter has publicly told reporters he wants to wait before discussing a new contract with Nashville, as he made a similar statement at this year's NHL All-Star Game.
Ryan Suter is a top defenseman, and a few teams have expressed interest in him since before the trade deadline.
In the slides that follow, we'll look at the chances each rumored team has of actually landing him.
As previously stated, things are not looking good for Nashville.
They have a number of free agents to re-sign over the summer, but you can bet that Suter is at the top of the list.
Predators GM David Poile has been trying to come to an agreement all season, to no avail. With each statement Suter makes to push back negotiations, it is looking more and more like he will test the free agency waters.
The lack of re-signing doesn't seem to deal with the money or length of the contract Suter wants, as Nashville has the cap space. They also showed with Pekka Rinne's contract that they are willing to sign players to long-term deals.
It is starting to seem like Ryan Suter wants out of Nashville and is trying to remain civil about his desire to leave.
With everything that has gone on between Suter and Nashville this season, it seems that the odds of him re-signing with the Preds are low, with a 10-15 percent chance of this happening.
As the debates began around the trade deadline, Sportsnet analyst Marty Mcsorley named Edmonton as a team interested in trading for Suter. The video can be seen here.
Expect them to at least talk to Ryan Suter once the free agency market opens up.
The Oilers have a young core of forwards who are very talented. However, they need help in net and on the blue line. Suter would fit in nicely, coming in as a veteran defenseman to help the young team improve.
The Oilers currently have $3.8 million in cap space, and only three players becoming unrestricted free agents. The biggest name is Ryan Smyth who, if he signed elsewhere, would free up another $6.25 million.
With Edmonton still floating around the bottom of the league, they need to make a number of improvements.
This deal seems far less likely than Suter re-signing with Nashville, and it would be a shock to everyone if the Oilers pulled it off, with a 5-10 percent chance of this deal happening.
The Wild finished 12th in the Western Conference this year, and the team has been rebuilding for the past few seasons.
They could desperately use the skill and leadership that Suter possesses on the blue line.
As of now, the Wild currently have just under $8.5 million in cap space to try to lure Suter to Minnesota.
One main issue that faces the Wild in regards to signing one of the more coveted defenseman in the NHL is their lack of depth, with the bigger names on the team being Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Tom Gilbert.
It would be a similar situation to Suter signing with Edmonton.
The only way that this would be a possibility is if Suter became the Wild's franchise player, with Minnesota building a team around him.
The odds are once again low, but slightly higher than him signing with Edmonton or Nashville, at a 15-20 percent chance of this deal occurring.
The early exit for the Blackhawks this year showed that Chicago needs help on the blueline.
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup only two years ago, and while they have had early exits in the last two seasons. They are still contenders.
Something that Ryan Suter could find enticing. Even though Nashville lasted longer in both the previous two seasons, the Blackhawks need to fill holes on the blueline and in net.
Currently with $3.8 million in cap space, the `Hawks would need to free up some room for Suter. Which could be done by allowing Andrew Brunette and Brendan Morrison walk.
It could also be achieved via trade as Chicago has a wealth of players that any team would be happy with.
The fact that Chicago has put together a contending team raises the odds of this deal, and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see Suter sign with them.
As the only issue would be where to find the cap space, this deal has a 40-45 percent chance of happening.
Detroit Red Wings
Like the Blackhawks, Detroit is a team that consistently makes the playoffs. With the future of team captain and veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart uncertain, they need to be on the hunt for seasoned defensemen.
The Red Wings currently have $4.5 million in cap space that would increase should Lidstrom retire and Stuart move west as speculated.
Suter's presence in Detroit could pay instant dividends, helping the Red Wings battle along the blue line on the way to the playoffs. They also need some help up front, but the extra cap space that could be coming would go a long way if they looked towards signing Semin as well.
Of all the teams, this one seems quite grounded in reality. The Red Wings have been looking at Ryan Suter since before the trade deadline and would love to take away a star defenseman from a division rival.
The likelihood of Suter jumping to the division rivals could explain why he has been trying to politely tell Nashville he won't sign, as this deal may draw the anger of Preds fans.
Again though, the odds of this deal are high. Detroit is known for luring top talent into their fold and possess a rabid fan base. This deal has a 70-75 percent chance of happening.
They were one of the more active teams during last year's offseason and were favored to represent the East in the Stanley Cup Finals for the better part of the season.
Their series against New Jersey was disappointing and will likely see the team aggressively making deals again in the offseason.
With five players about to become free agents, it would open up some cap space for the Flyers to chase some of the bigger names in the NHL.
Let's not forget the trades they made last summer that included sending Jeff Carter to Columbus and Mike Richards to LA, albeit the Flyers are now probably kicking themselves. The Flyers traded them to make cap space for their free agent signings last summer.
Philly needs to make a few moves this offseason, as their fan base is becoming more and more impatient as the years go by without a Cup.
Expect them to be aggressive when chasing the free agents they want. That alone could lead us to see more moves like the ones made by the Flyers last summer, making deals for players like Suter more plausible.
If Suter is thinking that Philly is a good place for him to play, expect Philly to jump at the chance to sign him. The odds for this deal happening are high, with a 70-75 percent chance of it happening.
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