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

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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.