As I write this, Ryan Suter has yet to make an announcement as to where he'll play next season. But earlier tonight, Josh Yohe, Pens beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted:
"I can confirm that the Penguins and Ryan Suter's agent, Neil Sheehy, had a conversation today. So far, apparently no offer was made."
This is disturbing to me. How in the world was no offer made? I thought the Zbynek Michalek trade/salary dump was to make a strong push for BOTH Parise AND Suter. If in fact no offer was made, that really can only say one thing: the Penguins are not on Ryan Suter's list of teams for which he'd be willing to play.
I truly hope then, that his desire, and intent, is to remain in the Western Conference. Most likely then either Detroit (which the rumor mill cranked out he was close to signing with the Wings earlier this afternoon) or he's staying put in Nashville. (if he's not coming to Pittsburgh, then I hope he stays a Pred)
However, it is rumored that the Flyers have offered in excess of $100 million to Suter. And if that offer is on the table, it says he's not committed to staying out (mid)west. Truly a baffling and bizarre turn of events for the Pens.
The Penguins NEED help on the blue line. As they are currently constructed, they're a worse defensive team than they were against the Flyers in the playoffs. No Zbynek Michalek. So who takes his spot? Simon Despres? The Pens are willing to trade him. Brian Strait? I don't think so. Robert Bortuzzo? Carl Sneep? Ben Lovejoy? He fell out of favor with the coaching staff long before the playoffs even started. They needed to get Ryan Suter. Scoring wasn't the issue for this team. It was their HORRENDOUS play in their own end. An upgrade is necessary along the blue line, whether Zach Parise signs with Pittsburgh or not.
And it looks like The Penguins are not even in the running for Suter's services. So what then? The need still exists. The answer?
This only works under one condition: Suter DOESN'T resign with Nashville. If Suter goes anywhere else but Nashville (or Pittsburgh, obviously) then Shero MUST make a trade with David Poile to acquire Weber. It's almost a lock that if Suter is gone, Weber will be out the door after next season as well. He'll sign a one year tender from the Preds, then hit the open market on 7/1/2013. And I swear to you Weber will demand a king's ransom. So Shero, being the wizard that he is, needs to work some magic and pull off a HUGE trade that brings arguably the NHL's best D-man to Pittsburgh.
Here it is: Paul Martin, Simon Despres, Tyler Kennedy Dustin Jeffrey and the 2013 first round draft pick for Weber. Seem like a lot to give up? Not for a guy who will solidify the blue line, and could potentially sign a new deal in Pittsburgh comparable to Crosby's and, unlitmately, Malkin's.
This is a pipe dream. Pie in the sky sort of stuff. Or simply, wishful thinking. But a move HAS to be made to patch things up back there. Going in to the new season minus one of the Pens top 4 defensemen from last year is simply unacceptable. Zach Parise or no, the Pens simply can't afford, again, to just try and outscore teams. It didn't work last season, and it won't work this season, either.
Enjoy & comment!