Ryan Suter

Ryan Suter on future with Predators: “I haven’t really thought about it”

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For the rest of the night and maybe a few more days, the Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn suspensions will likely get a lot of discussion regarding the Nashville Predators’ semifinals defeat. The longer-term question from that letdown against the Phoenix Coyotes is thornier and has much bigger implications for the franchise: did the team do enough to keep Shea Weber and especially Ryan Suter in the fold?

No word from team captain Weber just yet, but Suter’s response to Jim Diamond is noncommittal (but to some, maybe a little disturbing).

“Right now I am kind of disappointed about how tonight went and I haven’t really thought about it,” Suter said.

Diamond points out that Suter repeated the question about his future before answering it, which Diamond says is “usually not a good sign.” As a fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” I would have to agree; some might view that practice as giving yourself time to either a) lie or b) sugarcoat the truth.

(Another good way to buy yourself time after a tough question is saying “that’s a great question.”)

More than just the big guns

Now, Suter and Weber aren’t the only pending free agents for GM David Poile to consider, just the biggest ones. Suter’s the biggest question because he’s an unrestricted free agent while Weber is restricted.

They still have other questions to answer. Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Radulov seem increasingly unlikely to be back after the suspension debacle, but time can heal those wounds. (Andrei’s brother Sergei Kostitsyn is an RFA, like Radulov.) The Predators gave up a first-round pick for Paul Gaustad, so his contract situation should be interesting as well. Beyond that the team has plenty of other questions to answer (see the full scenario here), including a new deal for Colin Wilson (RFA).

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What’s your early read, though? Is Suter as good as gone? Tell all.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?