Monday, June 16, 2008

Preds Ink Suter

The Predators took another step towards having all their key young players in place for the coming season, as they signed defenseman Ryan Suter to a long-term deal. Suter signed a 4-year, $14 million deal on Monday, which makes him a pretty good bargain, since he has a lot of potential yet to be tapped.

Suter finished last season with 31 points (7G, 24A) in 76 games for the Predators, which ranked him 43rd among defensemen in scoring. His stock should be going up after the short playoff run, as well should his maturity. The 23-year old defender will now have a deal that will carry him through to unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2012.

J-P DumontMarek ZidlickyChris Mason
Jason ArnottRyan Suter
Alexander RadulovDan Hamhuis
Martin EratGreg de Vries
David LegwandGreg Zanon
Vern Fiddler
Radek Bonk
Jordin Tootoo
Scott Nichol
Jared Smithson
Jed Ortmeyer

The Predators are still in very good shape when it comes to salary cap space. They now have 17 players under contract for next season, at a reasonable cap hit of $38.8 million. This will give the management team a lot of playing room, if they are to spend towards the cap, to get a little more flash and a little more responsibility for the coming year.

Still on the Preds list of key restricted free agents: Shea Weber, Ville Koistonen and Kevin Klien.

The Predators were barely a playoff team this past season, but with a season under the belts of their young players, it should make them a touch better to keep themselves in contention for another round of Spring hockey. The team does need an influx of good veteran talent from the free agency pool, someone a little more solid than Radek Bonk (for instance). The Central Division will be a tough division to play in, but a little more veteran savvy amongst the youth, could make everyone a little bit better and a little more exciting to watch, come hockey pool draft day.

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