This won't come as a surprise to anybody, but Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter is expected to test free agency. The Predators have been hoping to re-sign him before he hits the open market on July 1, but Predators general manager David Poile expects Suter to become a free agent.
Of course, just because Suter is set to become a free agent doesn't mean the Predators are completely out of the picture. Poile said during an interview with 102.5's Sports Revolution last week that Suter has not informed him that the Predators have been eliminated from contention for his services.
"Absolutely not, and that's the good news," said Poile to 102.5's Sports Revolution (via OTF) on Friday. "The bad news is that he hasn't said 'let's get something done.' As we get closer to July 1, it seems like more and more he's going to want to test free agency and see what other teams are offering him, what they have to say to them."
Contrary to a report from last week, Poile claims he isn't interested in trading Suter's rights. If Suter flat out told Poile that he isn't going to re-sign, then you might see his rights get dealt. Since that hasn't happened and because Poile is holding out hope that Suter will test free agency and ultimately decide to re-sign, it looks like his rights won't be dealt.
What this means for the Red Wings is that when free agency opens on July 1, Suter will likely be the first person they call. Had Nashville dealt his rights, the Red Wings could have attempted to make a deal for them. Of course, the chances of the Predators dealing his rights to a division rival were slim, so it's good news for Detroit that Suter is planning to just wait until at least July 1 before deciding anything.