TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted that Suter will grab the Pen’s attention this offseason:
I assumed when PIT made big moves to clear cap space, it was for a run at UFA Parise but it seems UFA Suter is more likely primary target.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 23, 2012
Suter was the alternate captain in Nashville and an All-Star birth this past season. He is one of the better defenseman in the NHL and one of the summer’s most coveted free agents.
But Pittsburgh figures to be very active this offseason.
LeBrun says in the same article: “The Penguins will be an intriguing team to watch. After shedding the contracts of Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek, they’ve got room on the payroll to get busy. Most people believe they’ll go after both Suter and Zach Parise.”
The team is smart to value Suter over Parise, as scoring goals is not its problem. The Penguins scored 3.33 goals per game in the regular season, which was the highest average in hockey.
Where should Ryan Suter sign?
And they did so despite having Sidney Crosby for just 22 games.
However, Pittsburgh was just average on defense, with a 2.66 goals-against average, which tied for 15th in the league.
The team finished with 108 points on the season, which was the fourth most in the NHL. With Crosby healthy and motivated by a new monster contract, the Pens certainly have the talent to make a championship run next year.
Suter can help the team deal with one of its few deficiencies. With his skills on the blue line, Pittsburgh will have a scary amount of talent on its roster.
The 27-year-old will have many choices, and he will be in for a massive pay day wherever he ends up.
However, there is one place he can go that will give him the best chance to win the Stanley Cup: Pittsburgh is the best place for Suter to be if he wants to be a champion.