Ryan Suter

Suter re-signing in Nashville seems like a long shot


“We’ve never had a timeline or deadline. We’re just focusing on winning. Everything else will take care of itself…I don’t see it being a benefit by hurrying up and trying to get something done. I’m a Nashville Predator until July. I will focus on making my team better.” – Ryan Suter (Jan. 27, 2012)

“Right now I am kind of disappointed about how tonight went and I haven’t really thought about [my future].” – Suter (May 7, 2012)

But he’ll have to think about it soon. It’s not long until he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent (July 1), and they’re already salivating at the thought of landing the star defenseman in Detroit.

No surprise there — the Red Wings have piles of cap space and Nicklas Lidstrom can’t play forever.

Oh, and considering Suter was born in Wisconsin, played for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, and spent a season with the Badgers in Madison, it’s impossible not to wonder if he’d prefer living closer to home.

How much the Predators’ failure to advance past the second round will factor into his decision is unknown. Maybe he’s already made up his mind. But if he only wants to play where he can compete for a Stanley Cup, it probably didn’t help the club’s chances of convincing him to stay.

Nor can it be assumed a huge contract offer will sell the 27-year-old on signing long-term in Nashville. Wherever he signs, Suter will get paid.

Besides, who’s to say the Predators won’t be back to pinching pennies in a few years? Nashville’s ownership group showed the money to Pekka Rinne and let GM David Poile load up on contracts for a playoff run, but the Preds aren’t among the leaders in generating revenue, and probably won’t ever be.

We already mentioned Detroit as a potential landing spot, but it’s far from the only one.

The Flyers would undoubtedly make room for Suter, given Chris Pronger might never play again and Kimmo Timonen just turned 37.

The Bruins would love to have Suter quarterbacking their troublesome power play. If they have to ship out a guy like Dennis Seidenberg, so be it.

It’s not often all-star defensemen hit the open market, especially at 27 years old. Where Suter plays next season is up to him, and unfortunately for Preds fans, there’s good reason to believe it’ll be somewhere other than Nashville.

Not that all hope is lost.

“You look around at some of the players that maybe have unrestricted free agency,” Poile said today, as per The Tennessean. (There are) some players that may not want to come back, and we may not want them. But having said that, I hope the core wants to stay here and that we can retain them because we have a core that can compete with anybody.”

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: