Imagining #20 on your team? So are fans of every other team...
There's been a lot of talk on this blog recently about the Wild going after Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. I've already had my say about where I think Parise will go, so I figured I would chip in my thoughts about Ryan Suter. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present John Nash (as played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind):
As you may have guessed, to me Ryan Suter is "the blonde" of this year's Free Agent Defensemen. Every team with cap space is going to try to sign him, and he will be overpaid by one of them. Now before you get angry, I don't agree that the Wild should ignore Suter completely. A defensemen of his caliber is pretty rare, so the Wild have to take a chance at him. That said, there are 29 other General Managers who are thinking the same thing. Why sign with the Wild when you could sign with elite teams such as Detroit or Chicago? Or return to the Predators and continue to play with one of the best defenders in Shea Weber? Like in a simple Prisoner's Dilemma scenario, Chuck Fletcher has to take into account the likely actions of the other GMs when he makes his plans.
So I think the Wild should make their play early. Trade for Suter's rights if possible, and make him a good offer. If he wants to sign elsewhere, at least the Wild will know right away. Then while Suter is making his decision, they can go hard after other defenders like the underrated and often-overlooked Matt Carle or the offensively talented (what does the G column stand for?) Dennis Wideman.
Plus as great as Suter would be, the Wild could really use any proven #1 or 2 defenseman next year. Right now the D line-up is looking something like:
Gilbert - ??
Scandella - Spurgeon
Stoner / Falk / Prosser
I would love for the Wild to have a Gilbert-Suter 1st paring, but I would rather see the Wild at least get SOMEONE serviceable on the top pair, if Suter is not available. I like Scandella and Spurgeon a lot, but I think they're best served on the second pairing, away from the toughest competition.
What say you, Wilderness?