When Larry Brooks of the NY Post writes, people tend to not only listen but also put great weight into what he says. And they should, he’s a Rangers beat writer and has a first-hand understanding of what goes on with the team on a daily basis; something bloggers like myself cannot say.
However, in his article today, Brooks suggests that the Rangers, already stretched thin on defense due to injuries to Marc Staal and Michael Sauer, should acquire Nashville Predators’ defenseman Ryan Suter. If Staal is to be out long-term, the club would need another top-four defenseman to play big minutes and Ryan Suter is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, pure defenders in the NHL.
Join me after the jump for my opinions on why that deal will not be happening any time soon.
Larry Brooks points out the financial issues facing the Predators this offseason as the main reason to target Ryan Suter:
The obvious place to begin the search is in Nashville, where the Predators are facing a very difficult scenario under which defenseman Ryan Suter and goaltender Pekka Rinne are both eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 while defenseman Shea Weber will become a restricted free agent coming off a $7.5 million arbitration-earned contract.
On the surface, it sounds rational. Brooks expands on the idea, highlighting how it could work from the Rangers’ point-of-view:
Suter carries a $3.5 million cap charge, a number easy to accommodate. The Rangers have approximately $1.55 million of space available but could add to that by placing Staal on long-term injured reserve. The team would have to do some maneuvering to gain maximum advantage and space by moving Staal’s pro-rated $3.975 million off the chart, but it can be done without all that much fuss.
Sounds like it would work no problem, right? Wrong. We’re forgetting that Nashville would be trading arguably its best defenseman. Despite the fact Suter has an expiring contract, he would be entering into the prime of his career and would see a raise from his $3.5 million cap hit in his next contract. Case in point, they’re going to want some significant pieces in return should they want to trade him.
Daniel Bradley of Predlines offers his thoughts on what it would cost to acquire Suter via Twitter:
@TheWrage The moon. The Preds promoted him very hard during the offseason, and are trying to re-sign him first of the “big 3″.
Cleary Nashville has no intention of moving Ryan Suter and it appears the 26-year-old defenseman has no desire to leave the Predators. If the Rangers seek a top-four defenseman at some point during the season, they’re going to have to look elsewhere.
Unless they want to unload the coffers for him. To surmise, Bradley finishes off his insight with this nugget of information:
@TheWrage knowing how much Trotz/Poile depend on him, it would take a Zach Parise type to get him in a trade. More important than Weber.
Do I feel Suter would be a good fit with the Rangers? Without question. His style of play would be the perfect compliment to Tortorella’s mantra on defense. At the moment, there are just too many signs that point against a deal ever happening between the two teams. Could that change along the way? Anything can change. Betting on it not happening would be sound advice to take.
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