Predators all-star defenseman Ryan Suter remains unsigned past the end of the 2011-12 season, and if you read between the lines, whether he stays or goes will be a big determining factor in whether Predators all-star defenseman Shea Weber stays or goes.
Today, Weber spoke to NHL.com’s Dave Lozo about his future in Nashville.
“It’s a place I love to play,” said Weber. “If we can keep guys around and keep getting better, then it’s a place I want to stay.”
But that’s a big “if” considering Suter has the option to become an unrestricted free agent at the same time perennial contenders like Detroit and Philadelphia could be shopping for a cornerstone defenseman.
Weber, a pending restricted free agent, is eligible to become unrestricted at the end of next season. The 26-year-old is among the leading candidates to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. So yeah, there’d be a market for him, too.
Nashville general manager David Poile has already locked up Pekka Rinne until 2019, signing the goalie to a $49 million contract earlier this season. But if he can’t get Suter to commit and he loses Weber as a result of that, where does that leave the Preds?
Weber also told Lozo that the Predators want to talk contract now, but he’d prefer to do it once the season is over.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.