Friday, June 1, 2012
Ryan Suter, Preds begin contract talks
By Pierre LeBrun
Predators GM David Poile met Thursday with UFA-to-be Ryan Suter and his agent, Neil Sheehy, but at this point, there is no resolution.
"I think there’s good progress, we talked about some of the same things, also some new things," Poile told ESPN.com on Friday. "He’s not saying anything that makes me feel that he doesn’t want to play in Nashville. I think we’re all on the same page. But he has to make a decision. He wants to talk to his family and to Neil Sheehy some more. The process will just continue."
Suter is the headliner of the 2012 UFA class along with New Jersey winger Zach Parise. Poile flew to Suter’s home in Madison, Wis., on Wednesday evening after the GMs meeting in New York.
"We talked about many issues," Sheehy told ESPN.com on Friday. "Both sides were candid with each other. What we agreed to do is to continue our dialogue. Ryan, it’s no secret, loves Nashville. Ryan is just considering a lot of things. But David gave us more things to think about."
Two years ago, Poile traded away the rights to UFA-to-be blueliner Dan Hamhuis at the draft when it became clear he wasn’t going to re-sign. Many expected Poile might do the same with Suter’s rights at this year’s draft if he remains unsigned, but the veteran GM indicated otherwise Friday.
"Based on the conversations, I do not feel that’s going to happen, no," Poile said.
"I don’t want to speak for Ryan, but there’s nothing that indicates that there’s anything that’s negative with him re-signing with Nashville. The conversations are always pro-Nashville, our city, our team, his role ..."
But obviously, the clock is ticking toward July 1, when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent.
"He knows my feelings as to how it would be certainly in the Nashville Predators’ best interest to sign sooner rather than later, but I’m also well aware I don’t control that," Poile said. "That’s the right that he’s earned to become an unrestricted free agent. Whether he takes that opportunity or not, I don’t know the answer to that yet."
This is just me guessing, but there’s always the possibility that Suter checks out what’s out there July 1 but circles back to the Predators, much like Ilya Kovalchuk did with the Devils in the summer of 2010.
Too early to tell at this point. The positive for the Predators is that the lines of communication remain open.