Detroit Red Wings Free Agency: What Would a Ryan Suter Trade Mean to Red Wings?

Isaac SmithAnalyst IJune 14, 2012

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 29:  Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators and Team Chara poses prior to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place on January 29, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings' plans to pursue Ryan Suter have apparently gotten more complicated, after published a report (citing a Dennis Bernstein tweet) that the Nashville Predators could consider trading Ryan Suter's rights.

Nashville and Detroit are division rivals for the foreseeable future, so it's extremely hard to imagine Predators GM David Poile trading Suter's rights to the Red Wings—no matter who or what Detroit sent back the other way.

Suter wants to win and since Nashville did not get the job done this year, they have no (relatively speaking) bargaining leverage for why Suter should come back.

Sure, Nashville could offer Suter a bloated-value contract that he could get on the open market (possibly in the $7 million range and above), but with little or no offensive talent to speak of and Alexander Radulov on his way out the door, Suter has little reason to remain in Nashville.

This leaves Nashville with little leverage in regards to where they can trade Suter to get top value. This is because the team acquiring Suter would have him until July 1 if they could not get a deal done.

In order to get a deal done, the main contributing factor for a new contract between Suter and the potential team would be the team's existing ability to seriously contend for a Stanley Cup next season and in subsequent years.

Yes, Suter can pull the "family card" regarding what factors will influence where he plays hockey for the next few years, but if the Predators trade him somewhere before July 1, the only way the Predators will get high compensation in return is if the team is reasonably convinced that Suter will sign a contract with them before he tests the free agent waters.

So...what does all of this mean for Detroit?

Could we see another "Kyle Quincey-like trade" in the works?

Nashville could trade Ryan Suter to a team for compensation, and Detroit could then trade a future first round pick to said team in exchange for Suter's rights.

That behavior, of course, would be very underhanded from one GM to another, but hey: hockey is hockey. GMs do what they can to make their teams better.

Suter wants to win and time is running out for Nashville to get anything in return for his rights before he walks into the great portal that is unrestricted free agency.


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