Saturday, June 30, 2012
Rumblings: Suter not in hurry to pick team
By Pierre LeBrun
If you’re a team hoping to sign Ryan Suter once the UFA market opens Sunday, trying to get an audience with him in person won’t help your chances.
Just pick up the phone. That’ll be good enough.
Suter will be at his farm outside Madison, Wisc. His agent, Neil Sheehy, will be at his office in International Falls, Minn.
Nothing fancy. No desire to invite teams to pitch in person.
"It’s not Ryan’s personality, and it’s certainly not mine," Sheehy told ESPN.com Saturday.
And don’t expect a quick decision, either. Suter may not sign on the first day of free agency.
"I don’t expect it, because I think tomorrow will be very busy and he’ll need to carefully consider all the information," Sheehy said. "But it’s not my decision."
Sheehy’s phone will be ringing off the hook Sunday. Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and several other clubs are expected to make a big pitch for the Team USA Olympic defenseman.
Penguins GM Ray Shero, as is the norm, would not comment on potential targets, but did say the Penguins’ brass won’t be traveling Sunday. The phone will do.
"Our plan, as usual, will be to be in Pittsburgh," Shero told ESPN.com Saturday.
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.
"We have some cap space, we’ll make some calls tomorrow,” Shero said. "We don’t know what guys are thinking at this point, so we’ll see."
Detroit and Minnesota also are believed to have Parise on their radar. The Stanley Cup champion from Los Angeles is expected to make a run at him.
Key in getting either player will be the signing bonus, up-front money that is protected from any kind of lockout or labor stoppage. My guess is the winning contract for both players will be as front-loaded as possible.
Nashville, of course, remains in the mix on Suter, although I don’t think the Predators can match the up-front money I think some teams will offer. But the decision for Suter won’t be just about money. He’s going to be a rich man no matter where he goes. Fit and lifestyle for his family also will be key.