Tag:Ryan Suter
Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: August 27, 2011 10:17 am
 

Daily Skate: Islanders getting closer to playoffs

By Brian Stubits

CLOSING IN: The New York Islanders continue to rebuild, seemingly getting closer to the playoffs with each passing season. Now they are at a point of at least being competitive for the playoffs. That's what four different NHL pro scouts told Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank. "They'll be in the playoff race in the East until the end." It isn't exactly a large sample size, but four scouts all recognizing the growth of the franchise is a sign that things are getting better for fans on the island.

THINKING LONG TERM: Just because the Predators and Shea Weber couldn't work out a deal before arbitration and the player won the biggest award ever in a hearing, doesn't mean the two sides are ready to sever ties after next year. Nashville will have the daunting task of re-signing all three of Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne with conventional wisdom being they can't bring all three of them back. The assumption was that it could be Weber because of the cost of keeping him this offseason, but that's not necessarily the case (The Sports Xchange). Weber recognizes the negotiations for what they were when asked if things are OK with the club: "Yeah, for sure. I think that was just part of the business.

OUT OF TOUCH: The troubles of staying on the cutting edge of modern communication is brought to light by Adrian Dater of sportsillustrated.com. He points out that as players are never seen without their headphones or iPod when they travel any more, the classic team bonding of yesteryear isn't happening as often. It's a very interesting and salient point made that coaches and team executives are more than vexed by.

A-MAZE-ING: When Tim Thomas took the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Davison, Mich., he was met with many a dedication, one of which being a corn maze of him lifting up the Stanley Cup (from Puck Daddy). Well, not to be outdone are the non-Thomas fans in Michigan, mostly the Red Wings fans. Check out this corn maze of a Winged Wheel and a "Go Wings" scribbled in it in the Casco Township. Time for a battle of the corn! (Photo courtesy of Twitpic.)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 10:24 am
 

Daily Skate: 2012 free agents; bald man's hero

By Brian Stubits

FREE AGENT OUTLOOK: This year's free-agent class hasn't even taken to the ice, but Kevin Allen at USA Todayis already taking a look to next year's class. This summer, the Devils' Zach Parise was one of the higher-rated restricted free agents to be had, and next year he'll go through the process again after getting a one-year contract in New Jersey, but this time he'll be unrestricted. On Allen's list for next year, he sits second among the available, behind Predators defenseman Ryan Suter ... the other big-time blue-liner in Nashville.

BALD IS BEAUTIFUL: Mark Messier is a hero, according to Bald Celebrity (hat tip to Puck Daddy). That's the site that dubbed the former Oilers and Rangers star a bald hockey hero, eloquently writing this: "It takes a real man to handle the pressure of leading a New York sports franchise; a real bald man. It takes an even manlier, and an even balder man though, to have led the 1994 New York Rangers NHL Team to a Stanley Cup Championship. Does this epically manly and epically bald man exist? Yes, yes he does; and his name is Mark Messier."

CAPITAL WEDDING: There is always one piece of advice I give to guys who are engaged, and it's not run away or anything like that. Instead I say tell the wife-to-be that you want a wedding theme based on your favorite sports team, or Star Wars. Stick to your guns and you get out of the planning process. But that wouldn't work for this guy as he and his wife went all out with a full-on Capitals theme at their wedding, even having festivities at the team's practice facility and getting the Caps P.A. announcer to introduce them. Pretty impressive.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 10:25 am
 

Daily Skate: Next Islanders plan; Erat improving

By Brian Stubits

TAKING THE Islanders TASK: Since the arena vote was shot down, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has asked for privately funded proposals for the land to be submitted by Labor Day. Thanks to Randi F. Marshall at Newsday we know of at least one group that is putting together a plan to submit that will include an idea for the coliseum and the Islanders. Interestingly, former Isles star Bob Nystrom is on the task force with the plan, although Nystrom says he doesn't speak with the team. "My goal here is to figure out a way that we keep the Islanders here and to improve that building if we possibly can, but I agree we need development there, too," Nystrom said.

GETTING BACK TO IT: Martin Erat finished tied with Sergei Kostitsyn as the Predators' leading scorer last season despite missing 18 games with a nagging back problem. But now Erat is feeling better (The Tennesseean) after taking it easy over the summer and is expecting to be 100 percent when the season begins in October. The Preds certainly hope so as Erat's presence is key as Nashville would love to convince the trio of Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter to stick around beyond next year.

CAPITAL VOICE: The Washington Capitals are welcoming a new play-by-play voice for their radio coverage, saying goodbye to former announcer Steve Kolbe and, just like they would on the ice, bringing up a replacement from the Hershey Bears, the team's AHL affiliate. Capcentre.net has a fond farewell to Kolbe.

DRINK UP: The Bruins' Patrice Bergeron recently had his turn with the Stanley Cup, and he took it to breakfast with him. Naturally, you can see where this is going. Bergeron and his guests were thirsty, so they found the biggest cup they could find ... Lord Stanley. I'm not a germophobe by any stretch of the imagination and I know it's common practice to drink out of the Cup, but I'd have to say I'd rather just have a glass.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: August 3, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Should the Predators consider trading Weber?

ShouldThePredatorsConsiderTradingWeber

By: Adam Gretz

Now that the Nashville Predators know the salary Shea Weber will be making during the 2011-12 season the question of where they go from here has been the hot topic of the day. They can't officially sign him to a long-term extension until after Jan. 1, and he still has one more year of restricted free agency (and potentially arbitration) before he would be free to test the open market.

Dirk Hoag at On The Forecheck thinks the Predators and their captain need to have a frank discussion about whether or not he wants to stay in Nashville for the long haul, and if the answer to that question is no, general manager David Poile should spread the word that he's available in order to maximize the return.

Josh Cooper, beat writer for the Tennessean, brings up the potential issues for next offseason when Weber, barring a contract extension after Jan. 1, will be up for arbitration again, while fellow defenseman Ryan Suter and No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne will be unrestricted free agents. He also asks if the Predators can invest similar long-term deals into Suter and Weber and have such a large portion of their payroll going to just two players.

Now, for teams that have the ability to spend close to the salary cap (or all the way to the cap) that shouldn't be much of a concern (actually, I'd encourage teams to do it). But Nashville doesn't appear to be that type of team with the funds to play with, currently sitting closer to the cap floor than the ceiling.

That definitely changes the game, and could bring up an interesting (if not frustrating) dilemma for the Predators front office. After all, these three guys are home-grown Stars, drafted and developed by the Nashville organization. Those are the type of players you want to keep.

You win with impact players, and the more of them you have, the better chance you have to win. That's obvious. Also because it's almost impossible to get fair value back in a trade for a player like Weber, especially when you're talking about a 25-year-old franchise defenseman that can score. (Or in the case of Suter, a steadier hand in the defensive end of the ice with a little less offense.)

If it should get to that point and the Predators decide to move in that direction, they would be better off being proactive and do it sooner rather than later in order to maximize the value coming back. Weber still has another year after this season before he's eligible for unrestricted free agency and he'll bring a larger return now than he will, say, at the trade deadline in March of 2013.

If it were me, (and it's most certainly not), I would make every effort to keep Weber and Suter as my foundation and, if needed, part ways with Rinne for this reason: it's easier to find a solid goaltender at an affordable price than it is to find a No. 1 defenseman at an affordable price.

That plan, of course, assumes Weber is committed to staying in Nashville, which may not be the case. And if it's not, you're pretty much out of options and are forced to make a difficult decision: part ways with a homegrown star in the prime of his career.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com