In the midst of talking about the infusion of youth on his squad and some upcoming promotional events, Nashville Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz showed that the Predators are not willing to get over the loss of Ryan Suter. As we are well aware up here in Minnesota, the signings of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise on July 4th, 2012 were unpopular in just about every hockey circle not affiliated with Minnesota.
While speaking very kindly about Suter, Coach Trotz was quick to admit the Predators struggled without him on the blue line.
"Sometimes you can't get over it, we felt we could, but obviously at the end of the year we weren't able to get through that enough."
Of course things started to get a little dicey when the coach was asked about their dying rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Trotz reminisced and praised the Wings before we get to the bitter scorned X syndrome.
"We've got to start new rivalries, like us and Minnesota. They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and simple"
"We got Matt Cullen back so ..."
You got Cullen back? Excuse me sir, but you STOLE HIM! Our poor Minnesota native, plucked from his homeland against his will! Or something to that effect. No offense to Cullen, but I'd take Suter for Cullen every time.
As much joy as I gain from another fan-base's misery, something about the Head Coach getting into this is just intrinsically sad. I know these are just quotes pulled from a radio interview that was more about having fun at the time than being informative. I can completely understand how a team or a coach may feel scorned, especially upon seeing the kind of season Norris Trophy Finalist Ryan Suter had here in Minnesota.
Thus is life, get over it!
I have always been of the opinion this sort of thing is supposed to be below a Head Coach, in any professional league. His job is certainly not to create a rivalry, let alone provide bulletin board material for another team. This sort of attempt to engineer a rivalry stinks of NBC's rivalry night.
Of course shots have been exchanged between the us and "them's" when it comes to luring another teams star player away. A lot of poo and poo-like substance came flying over from Newark and Detroit even over last summers signings. The one glaring difference here is Trotz admits that they miss him and needed him, whereas the Detroit's and New Jersey's of the world don't need anybody that doesn't sign with them and those players become less of what they bring to the ice and more of a price tag.
Things had died down though, after all it has been over a year now since Suter and Parise moved to the land of 10,000 lakes. Yet for whatever reason Coach Trotz feels the need to twist the knife in his own fan base once again, in the guise of rivalry building.
I'm not saying we can't enjoy a few jabs back and forth with Nashville, and I'm certainly not saying we cannot have a nice rivalry built up over time. We have the makings of one already being the dirty thieves that we are. So don't you worry your shiny little head Coach Trotz, if it's meant to be, it will be. If not, please don't take offense, we certainly don't want any misconceptions that we stole your rivalry too.
By the way, your boy Shea Weber signed a very lucrative offer sheet to skip town to play in Philly. Perhaps you can get NBC to run a rivalry night for your games against the Flyers this season for attempted grand-theft Weber.
The interview in question can be found in its entirety here.