Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter shrugged off his first game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 22, 2013.
“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” Suter said at the time. “Obviously the media makes it more than it is.”
He might not think it’s a big deal to play against the team he spent the first seven seasons of his career with, but that contest was in Minnesota. It will be another story entirely when he actually has to play in Nashville on Saturday and face an arena full of the Predators’ fans for the first time.
“Have I ever had anything like what’s going to probably happen? Probably not,” Suter told The Tennessean. “It’s going to (stink), and I wish the fans knew … well, I know they know how much I enjoyed my time there.
“But it’s just part of the business. I mean, you have to make decisions for yourself and for your family.”
Suter signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with Minnesota over the summer, a move Predators GM David Poile “will never, ever understand.” Suter admitted that he cried when he told Poile that he was leaving.
“He drafted me, he was my GM, he was all I knew,” Suter said. “In the NHL he gave me all the opportunities. Through the highs and lows, he stuck with me, and I felt like I was letting him down.”
Suter will have to work through the booing for the Wild’s sake. Minnesota and Nashville both need every point they can get right now as they try to claw their way into the playoffs.