With their season over, Nashville is now faced with two very important questions for the offseason.
They have spent the last few seasons building around defensive cornerstones Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
Both are about to become free agents. Suter will be unrestricted as of July 1st. Shea Weber will be a restricted free agent at the same time.
The Predators will have the cap space to sign with just over $38 million available.
Nashville still has a few options before they make a commitment with either player. The Preds can try to keep both of them, they can let go of one or both.
Some feel that if the Predators are unable to sign Ryan Suter before he becomes a free agent, then they should let him walk. If that occurs, these same people believe that Weber's time will coming to an end as well.
If they decide to let both go, it would mean a rebuild would begin in Nashville.
The team only needs a few pieces as they are, so letting both defensemen go could be a very large mistake.
Shae Weber seems content in Nashville. More to the point, he genuinely seems to want to win a Cup for Nashville.
This was made apparent when Shea Weber personally helped bring Alexander Radulov back to Nashville for the postseason.
Weber also felt personally offended when Radulov failed to preform.
Ryan Suter, on the other hand, has made it seem to fans that he was pushing off re-signing. Reports have come out that negotiations are now underway and are going well.
Even so, some still feel that Suter is delaying until July 1st. After that date passes, he will be able to receive offers from other teams.
Suter is poised to be one of the biggest names on the free-agent wire this summer. There has already been interest from a few teams, including Nashville's Central Division rivals, the Detroit Red Wings.
With so much of Nashville built around Pekka Rinne and the defensive tandem of Weber and Suter, the Preds will try to keep both.
However, if negotiations between Suter and Nashville begin to take too long, they should let him walk.
They have a few players they picked up at the end of the season, such as Gustad, who have expressed a desire to stay.
Losing Suter will leave a gap on Nashville's defense, but that may be the best course of action.
Lock up Weber and find a young defenseman to replace Suter and become the future star of the Predators.
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