But resist they should—the goal should be retaining Suter at all costs. Unfortunately for Predators fans, it seems likely that the Preds will look to insure themselves against Suter's possible departure and trade his rights.
League exec told us last night he expects Preds to deal Suter rights around draft, 'just like they did with Hamhuis, Hartnell and Timonen'— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) June 12, 2012
There will be no shortage of teams looking to sign Suter come July, and as any Philadelphia Flyers fan can tell you, there will be teams willing to trade simply for the rights to exclusive negotiations with the elite defenseman.
Suter finished the 2011-12 season with a career-high 46 points and a plus-minus at plus-15, the second-best mark of his career. He also averaged his most on-ice time per game at 26:30 minutes, and alongside Shea Weber gives the Predators two of the finest defensemen in the game.
Losing him would be a major blow to the Predators' Stanley Cup aspirations moving forward. As currently constructed, this team is built to compete for the Cup every year.
Should the Predators trade away exclusive signing rights to Suter?
So why give another team a leg-up to sign Suter away? Unless the team is positive it won't be able to retain Suter, why waste valuable negotiating time before the other NHL front offices swoop in and enter the proceedings?
As a Flyers fan, I would love to see the team land exclusive negotiating rights with Suter and sign him before July 1st comes around.
But if I were a Predators' fan, I would want the team to resist the urge to trade those rights and I would be fairly incensed if they were given away.
All good things may inevitably come to an end, but that doesn't mean you need to risk expediting Suter's departure.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets really wanted to have another.