Greetings Caniacs! As the start of free agency is less than two weeks away, players are already starting to re-sign with their teams rather than test the market. The big name free agents however are going to wait patiently until July 1st to see if they can get the contract they desire. One of the big names out there which teams have on speed dial, waiting for July 1st, is 27 year old Ryan Suter . The Wisconsin native has had the good fortune of playing with fellow restricted free agent defensemen Shea Weber. Suter’s stats from the 2008-09 season are crazy good. He has chipped in with at least 37 assists throughout his NHL carreer and he had over 115 blocked shots this year. This left handed sniper is in high demand and a majority of the NHL teams are shuffling their books to see if they can squeeze a little more cash out to get this top of the line Blue liner on their roster. So is Ryan Suter a good fit for our Hurricanes? Absolutely! Will the Hurricanes aggressively pursue Suter? Absolutely not. Why, you may ask. Well let’s look at the signings the Canes did late last season and this summer.
In signing defensemen Tim Gleason, more recently Jamie McBain and the emergence of Justin Faulk playing next to a solid Jay Harrison, things don’t look too bad on the defensive end. That is why Canes GM Jim Rutherford clearly stated his desire for a top tier forward. I honestly believe from now until July 1st they will be looking over many options at the forward position.
One thing that is promising for Canes fans is that the Hurricanes have been mentioned with several trade rumors involving top-tier players such as Columbus Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jordan Staal. This will continue until the Canes can get a solid forward to compliment Eric Staal. There is no doubt in my mind that Ryan Suter would make the Hurricanes a better team, however the Hurricanes goal is not only to be a better team but there mission is to become a more complete team. If you look at what the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings did this year, they balanced their star power and made trades to become a complete team. With that being said, you will see this happening more in more in the NHL. If the Hurricanes were to sign Suter , the issue of signing a top tier forward would still be a major issue for a team that sputtered offensively from time to time last year.
Ryan Suter does have a list of teams he would consider playing for, which are all western conference teams and is a very short list. I don’t know where this top of the line defensemen will end up but I am confident that he is not in the Canes front office cross hairs as a guy they are going to be contacting on July 1st. Fortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes, they are not needing a top of the line defensemen and can focus on a wider range of forwards that can help alleviate the scoring pressure that was put on the Canes forwards last year. The first day of July cannot get here soon enough. In the meantime, if you are around the Raleigh area and want to see some of the Hurricanes prospects, stop by Raleigh Center Ice June 27-30 from 4:30-5:30 for their summer conditioning camp.