As teams drop from the playoffs, we slowly start to focus more on the draft and free agency. The Nashville Predators swung for the fences at the trade deadline, but like most teams who take a risk on deadline day, they came up short. The Preds traded away their 1st and 2nd round picks for Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill, in hopes of a long playoff run as well as increasing their chances to re-sign Ryan Suter.
They struck out on a long playoff run, and right now no one really knows if Suter will stay. What I do know is that the Oilers won’t be in the running for him.
Of course the Oilers would love to sign him, if he becomes a free agent, but there is no way he signs in Edmonton. It has nothing to do with the weather or geography; it has to do with winning. The Oilers aren’t close to being a championship team, and while the future looks brighter, Suter will sign with a team that is competitive now, not one that might be in a few years.
When the Oilers have actually made the playoffs, that is when the team can start to look at making a serious move to fill a need, but now is not the time, because they have too many needs to fill.
I’ve noticed a lot of talk amongst Oiler fans recently about going after Suter, and while I agree he’d definitely help, the reality is he won’t be sign here, so focus on more realistic options.
It will be very curious to see what GM David Poile does in the next few weeks. You know he wants to re-sign both Suter and Weber, but it is clear they need some offensive help if they are to advance past the 2nd round of the playoffs.
I don’t see any way he lets Suter walk away for nothing. If he can’t sign him, then I fully expect him try and move him at the draft for a 1st rounder. Keep in mind that team that trades that pick will want to be granted the chance to negotiate a contract with him before trading for him. So we’ll see what happens.
Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if Poile will try to mirror what Paul Holmgren did and deal two veterans for four very good young players? The difference is the Preds don’t have a D-man that can step up replace one of Weber or Suter, like Giroux replaced Richards in Philly. That was the key to the deal. The Flyers knew they had a guy who could take on a bigger role, so they were able to trade Richards. The Preds don’t have anyone on their team who could step in and fill the void of Weber or Suter. So it would be extemely gutsy for Poile to move both, but he ultimately might have no choice.
The only way the Oilers could land Suter is if they grossly overpay him. He might come here for $8-9 million/year for seven years, but that would really hamper the Oilers cap-wise in a few year. It doesn’t make fiscal sense to sign Suter at this point in their rebuild.
It is obvious the Oilers need help on the backend, but overpaying a free agent rarely pans out in the long run. The Oilers would be better off to make a smart hockey trade, rather than overpay a player who will never produce enough to live up to his over-inflated deal.
- Many were upset during last night’s Oil King’s game on Shaw, when during OT the channel suddenly switched to a Vancouver City Hall meeting. This lasted about two minutes, and unfortunately for Edmonton viewers you missed the OT winner by the Oil King’s Rhett Rachincki. If you were watching the game on HD, 301on Shaw, the game wasn’t interrupted. Turns out the glitch came from a Vancouver feed. Shaw has guaranteed it won’t happen again. Game 5 goes Thursday at 7 on TEAM 1260 and Shaw.
- Will Alexie Ponikarovsky be this year’s Joel Ward? He’s a UFA, and I wonder if a team looks at his size and skill and gives him $9 million over three years? I could see it happening.
- Other potential UFAs who could benefit from a long playoff run include: Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner from the Kings, Ray Whitney, Shane Doan, Michal Rozsival, Daymond Langkow and Adrian Aucion from the Coyotes, Bryce Salvador and Ryan Carter from the Devils, Brandon Prust from the Rangers and Dennis Wideman from the Capitals. GMs are always swayed by a decent playoff run, and some of these guys will undoubtedly earn more due to their playoff run.
- Zach Parise will get a big deal regardless, but he could earn $1 million more a year if he really lights it up in the next two rounds. Even Alex Semin could garner a big deal because of it. I’d be stunned if anyone offers him $6 million/year like he is getting now, but someone will likely take a risk and give him $25 million over 5 years. Gotta love the insanity of free agency.
ULTIMATE SPORTS FAN PACKAGE
You can win a great sports fan package and help find a cure for MS. I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour on June 09th and I’ve come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan. Click here and donate $100 and you will get one entry into the draw. If you donate $200 you get two entries and so on.
We only take 100 entries, and we are already at 30 in less than 20 hours. Awesome.
The winner will win a prize pack that includes:
- A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
- A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets.
- A signed Jordan Eberle stick.
- Pizza for a year from Boston Pizza and a special "all meat wings" package.
- A beer fridge and beer for a year from Big Rock Brewery.
- Four Edmonton Rush season tickets.
- And more surprise prizes (something involve Wanye) to come in the next few weeks.
We will add a new prize every few days leading up to the draw on June 07th, and keep in mind this sold out in two weeks last year. So if you want a chance to win and help end MS get in the draw today.
Thanks for your support and good luck.