Ryan Suter: Detroit Red Wings Are Better Fit for Defenseman Than Pittsburgh

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJune 25, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07:  Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Predators 2-1 to win the series 4 games to 1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Much is being made of the Pittsburgh Penguins' efforts to secure Ryan Suter as a defenseman. Suter would be needed in order to improve a defense that allowed 30 goals in six games to the Philadelphia Flyers in the postseason before losing 4-2. Pittsburgh, however, is not the right fit for Suter.

Ryan Suter's free agency has the potential to change the landscape of the NHL.

Plenty of teams would love to sign the defenseman in order to upgrade their back-ends, and it looks like Pittsburgh is trying to make a huge push for him. However, the best fit would be with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Penguins certainly have cap space to sign Suter after trading Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek away, but that could potentially hurt the odds of extending Sidney Crosby's contract.

According to NBC Sports, his contract is going to be a big one:

"Team sources said Sidney Crosby soon will sign a new contract in the range of 10 to 13 years with an average annual salary of between $9 million and $10 million"

It's unlikely that this could be achieved. The team could bring in Suter and a complete team with their current cap space of $14,666,667 (per CapGeek.com). With just pure numbers alone, Detroit actually has as more cap space than Pittsburgh, with over $24 million of space.

While Pittsburgh needs defense, they partially addressed that need during the NHL draft, taking Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.

Detroit, on the other hand, has a glaring hole to fill after Nicklas Lidstrom announced that he was retiring after 20 seasons in the NHL. Suter would come to Detroit and immediately help make up for that loss, helping Detroit stay in the mix in the Central Division.

While both teams clearly need a player like Suter to help them out, the better fit is clearly Detroit, not Pittsburgh.