Ryan Suter

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


The Nashville Predators are the hottest team in the NHL. They’re 9-1-0 in their last 10 and have climbed all the way up to fifth in the Western Conference, nine points clear of eighth-place Minnesota. For the Preds to miss the playoffs, it would take a spectacular crash.

So knowing that, can you think of anything that could convince GM David Poile to trade defenseman Ryan Suter before the Feb. 27 trade deadline? Because if the playoffs are 95 percent assured for Nashville, I’m struggling to.

Yes, Suter’s still a pending unrestricted free agent, so there’s the risk he walks away next year for nothing. But save for some ridiculous trade offer combined with the absolute knowledge Suter won’t be back next season, why would Poile sabotage what could be a deep playoff run for what he’d get in return for a rental? Not to mention, the fans would be furious and as soon as Suter is gone the Preds’ odds of keeping Shea Weber grow considerably longer.

The only way a trade might – repeat: might – make sense is if Suter tells Poile he definitely won’t be back next year. So then Poile asks him, where do you want to go? Suter says, Detroit (just for argument’s sake). So Poile calls up the Red Wings and pitches a sign and trade to Ken Holland. After all, a Suter that’s signed long term is worth a lot more than a rental Suter.

True, the Red Wings would have to give up significant assets in return, but at least they’d be guaranteed to land Suter, removing the risk they get outbid in the free-agent market and end up with a massive hole on the back end should Nicklas Lidstrom decide to retire.

But yeah, that’s a long shot. Suter probably won’t be getting traded prior to the deadline. Unfortunate for the blogging business, but good for Preds fans.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?