When NHL free agency opens at noon ET on Sunday, defenseman Ryan Suter will be on his farm in Wisconsin. Unlike fellow free agent , Suter isn't headed to his agent's headquarters to wait for teams to make their pitch. Instead, the plan calls for Suter and Neil Sheehy, his agent, to conduct business over the phone.
"We (he and NHL general managers) all know each other, so there's nothing meeting face-to-face is going to accomplish, at least initially,'' Sheehy said. "If Ryan is uncertain, that (meetings) could come into play.''
Although Suter isn't planning to host teams in person, the Detroit Red Wings are sending owner Mike Ilitch and team adviser Chris Chelios to Wisconsin to meet with Suter, according to MLive's Ansar Khan. As Khan notes, Chelios is a "close friend" and former teammate of Gary Suter, who is Ryan Suter's uncle. Could this personal connection have resulted in a meeting being set up? It's not clear, but contrary to Sheehy's original plans, it appears an in-person meeting could take place.
While Suter apparently planned to conduct business over the phone, hopefully the Red Wings' initiative to go to Wisconsin to meet with him anyway will boost their chances of signing him.