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Preds GM: Suter uncertainty complicates deadline strategy

2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 28: Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators and Team Chara gets introduced prior to the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Scotiabank Place on January 28, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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It’s hard to blame Ryan Suter for waiting. If Nashville ownership is truly committed to winning, then ownership should prove it and get aggressive at the trade deadline. Maybe then he’ll be more willing to sign a long-term contract extension.

On the other hand, it’s hard to blame general manager David Poile for wanting to lock Suter up before the deadline.

Poile explained his predicament today on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central.

“My aggressiveness to make changes between now and Feb. 27 could take on salary, could take on rental players, could give up future (draft picks and prospects), it all probably makes sense if (Ryan) Suter is signed,” Poile said. “If Ryan leaves here on July 1, maybe a lot of those things I was going to do wouldn’t make a lot of sense in the long run.”

Not to mention, if Suter leaves on July 1, it’ll be even harder for Poile to convince Shea Weber to stay long term.

It’s actually pretty incredible when you consider how much the Preds have riding on those two re-signing. It’d be one thing if the fans weren’t coming out to watch a winning team, but Bridgestone Arena might be the loudest rink in the NHL today.

“This is like the Colosseum in Rome coming into this place on Saturday night,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after his team lost, 3-1, to the Predators on Saturday.

Meanwhile, here’s what Preds forward Brian McGrattan tweeted after the same game.


Related: The Preds couldn’t trade Suter now, could they?