SUN Hockey Pool

Suter doesn't plan to talk contract

Nashville Predators' Ryan Suter and Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth collide during their NHL hockey...

Nashville Predators' Ryan Suter and Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth collide during their NHL hockey game in Edmonton Oct. 17, 2011. (REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 PM ET

The Predators are going to have to make a decision on Ryan Suter at the NHL trade deadline.

The blue-chip defenceman, one of the best potential free agents this summer, told reporters during Friday’s NHL all-star weekend media day that he doesn’t have any interest in having contract talks until the season is over.

The decision by the 27-year-old Suter is significant because it means Nashville GM David Poile risks losing Suter for nothing if he doesn’t deal him by Feb. 27.

“At this point, it’s not worth going and trying to do something,” said Suter. “Then it becomes a distraction not only to me, but to my teammates as well.”

The Predators could always move Suter’s rights at the draft in June. If that’s the case, the Flyers could swoop in and make a deal. Suter sounded like he’s prepared to stay, but that could be difficult with fellow star blueliner Shea Weber only a year away from UFA status.

“I love it in Nashville,” said Suter. “It’s a great place to live and a great place to play. The fans there are amazing. They get more educated every year.”

Weber is making $7.5 million and was surprised to hear Suter isn’t in any hurry to sign.

“I was surprised maybe (he did it) here, and I’m surprised it took him this long to get it off his chest, obviously,” Weber said. “We talk a lot and that’s been weighing on him a while. (Poile) is trying to get a deal done.”

THIS ’N’ THAT

If the Sabres decide to move C Derek Roy, they’re going to have plenty of interested teams. Buffalo GM Darcy Regier is another guy looking for size and don’t be surprised if he tries to make a move. With a $4.5-million cap hit through next season, the 5-foot-9 Roy is the top candidate to get moved and he’d be a perfect fit for the second line. The Blackhawks certainly want help up front and Kings GM Dean Lombardi is looking to add a scorer ... The Panthers could be shopping for a defenceman to ensure they get to the playoffs. You’d have to think they’d target Carolina’s Jaroslav Spacek. He fits the mould of what GM Dale Tallon is trying to add.

AROUND THE BOARDS

Should the Hurricanes decide to tear it down, don’t be surprised if GM Jim Rutherford goes with the total rebuild. C Eric Staal isn’t going to be moved, but some NHL insiders are wondering if G Cam Ward will be part of the solution. His contract, with a $6.3-million cap, hit runs through the 2014-15 season. The ’Canes are nearly six years removed from their Stanley Cup win and several teams would be interested in Ward if he hits the market ... The board of governors will meet Saturday at the Chateau Laurier, but it won’t be a long gathering. The governors will be updated on the Coyotes and commissioner Gary Bettman said on his radio show there is a group that wants to keep the team in Phoenix. If the club is moved, Kansas City and Quebec City are the top candidates for relocation.

THE LAST WORD

Expect Islanders GM Garth Snow to be busy once the action resumes next week. All of the club’s potential UFAs — including P.A. Parenteau, Frans Nielsen, Mark Eaton and Steve Staois — are being shopped ... The Habs are inching closer to getting back into the playoff race, but many wonder if it’s going to be enough to save GM Pierre Gauthier’s job. He went on a shopping trip on the West Coast before the all-star break and wants to make deals. The Habs would move W Andrei Kostitsyn in a heartbeat.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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