All of the people who pointed out, again and again, that the chase for those Northwest Division championship hats just got more difficult for the Canucks were on point.
But it doesn’t take much to put a positive spin on the moves from the Vancouver point of view.
For one, it’s better Parise is in Minny for this upcoming season than, say, Chicago.
And better Suter is in the so-called of State of Hockey rather than Hockeytown, Detroit.
The Canucks are built to win now and the Wild remain something of a work-in-progress. It’s likely a couple years yet before the Wild could be one of the favourites in the Western Conference.
So, the powerhouses are no better because of it. Yes, we can see that is spin. But that’s one way to view this as good news over at The Roge.
And if we’re already in full spin, here’s even better news: The Wild deals mean Shea Weber is coming to Vancouver.
All right, that’s just an ongoing dream of many Canucks fans. But Nashville GM David Poile sure couldn’t do anything to pop their collective bubble.
Poile expressed frustration and exasperation with Suter leaving. One media member accurately told him he sounded like he just got hit with a jackhammer.
Obviously, he was crushed, and still in disbelief that Suter had left Tennessee. Poile even suggested Suter had lied, while calling out his agent, Neil Sheehy, who Poile claimed promised him this in November: “[Suter] is not going anywhere else. He’s signing with the Nashville Predators.”
That didn’t work out so well.
So, Suter joins Dan Hamhuis as big-time defencemen the Predators recently lost for essentially nothing. Could Weber, currently an RFA set to become a UFA next summer, be next?
It goes without saying fans from just about every other city in the NHL hope so.
In Vancouver, the burn for Weber is especially acute. He’s the type of player the Canucks have never had, and one who grew up in B.C. and played junior in Kelowna.
He may be considered the missing piece in Vancouver, but he is also the type of player the Predators’ entire organization is built around.
Poile said he’s doing two things next: One, looking for Suter’s replacement and two, doing everything he can to re-sign Weber.
But he did admit that just became a whole lot more difficult.
“Speaking for Shea, he certainly hoped Ryan would re-sign,” Poile said.
“I know if Ryan had re-signed it would have been a lot easier to have Shea make a commitment.
“I have to find out [if he wants to stay] now. I’ve already talked to Shea’s representative about a longer-term contract.
“The process and the timing was, everyone wanted to see what came down on the Suter situation.”
Has he considered trading Weber if he won’t go for a longer-term deal because of Suter leaving?
“You have to let me play out the process,” Poile said. “This has all happened, like 15 minutes ago. I haven’t talked to Shea today or his representatives.
“I have to get on to see if there is an opportunity to replace Suter with another defenceman. You have to allow me the opportunity to talk to Shea and you have to allow Shea and his representatives some time to decide what is the right thing to do moving forward.
“[Weber] is the guy we want to build our team around. He’s at the top of his game. He’s a Norris Trophy finalist. He knows what we think of him and we want him to be in Nashville for years to come.”
If Weber doesn’t want the same, you can understand why he may push for a trade this summer.
With a new CBA being negotiated, there are a lot of unknowns about how free agents will be impacted.
Will it take longer to become a UFA?
Will the league look to close the loophole that permits deals that circumvent the cap, like Roberto Luongo’s or the twin 13-year contracts Parise and Suter just signed?
In other words, now is the time to cash in before those rules change.
Whether the Canucks have the pieces to land Weber is another story.
Sure, they have Alex Edler. But he’s a year away from becoming an unrestricted free agent himself. And just what is Edler going to be worth in this climate?
If Christian Ehrhoff gets $40 million and Suter gets $98 million, it’s not hard to see Edler fall somewhere in the middle.
Whether he’s worth it is a debate for another day.
Of course, any Weber discussion wouldn’t be complete without mention of an offer sheet.
As a restricted free agent, if he were signed to a one-year, predatory offer sheet in the $6,268,175-$7,835,219 range, the compensation would be two first-round picks, a second and third.
Would the Predators match? Probably, but then they couldn’t trade him for a year, and next July they’d be in the exact same situation they just were with Suter.
And can Poile risk getting hit again with another jackhammer?
Read more: http://www.theprovin...l#ixzz1zobqixAS