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Who is to blame: Poile or Suter?

David Poile isn’t one you would call a gambler, but he does pick his spots for when to push his chips to the center of the table. He did it in 2007 with Peter Forsberg, and he did it in 2012 with Alexander Radulov.

The end results in 2007 and 2012 were utter disappointment, but Poile iterated both times that he wouldn’t have changed a thing, that he would have stuck with those decisions if had to do it all over again.

In regards to Ryan Suter, Poile probably wouldn’t have done anything different. If he had to do it all over again, Poile would have kept Suter instead of trading him last summer, at the trade deadline or at the draft.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

As it stands now with Suter signing in Minnesota and the Predators not getting anything in return, fans probably would have liked to have seen a trade go down last summer, at the trade deadline or at the draft.

Though the roster would look better now with three or four quality additional assets that a Suter trade would have yielded, Poile did the right thing for last season. In the last year with Suter and Weber together, he went for it. The Predators had the pieces to make a Stanley Cup run, and Suter was a big piece to the puzzle.

Every team, at one point or another, should go for it – especially those in smaller markets that can’t spend with the big boys and contend for the Cup every year. The Predators have done it twice now, and both times they have fallen short.

If the Predators had won the Cup last month, those fans probably wouldn’t mind that Suter just went from Music City to the Twin Cities for nothing in return.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

The Portland Trailblazers probably wish they had drafted Michael Jordan instead of Sam Bowie. Your body probably wishes you hadn’t eaten all that extra pizza last night as you were celebrating America’s birthday.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Leading up to the seismic news of Suter and Zach Parise joining forces in Minnesota, Poile received heat from fans for how he dealt with the situation – how he should have put on the full court press to re-sign Suter, how he should have offered $8 million more to match the Wild’s $98 million contract offer over eight years.

In the end, none of it would have mattered. So looking back on it, could he have done anything different?

On his conference call yesterday, Poile sounded hurt, frustrated, disappointed and a little betrayed. His explanation of the process would make most believe that Suter misled him in the sense that Suter told him that he wanted to play for a winning team (which played a role into Poile going ‘all-in’ and bringing back Radulov), when the decision to sign in Minnesota was actually based on “family reasons.”

There is a scapegoat for everything. Who is to blame here: Suter for misleading Poile or Poile for misreading Suter? Probably a little bit of both but more of the former, wouldn’t you say?

If someone who you trust looks you in the eye and says, “I’m not going anywhere,” you’re going to believe them. And if that situation/conversation arises at a later time, you’re going to remember what they said.

As we found out yesterday, Suter gave Poile his word in November that he “wasn’t going anywhere” and would re-sign in Nashville.

You can look at this one of two ways:

– When Suter vented to the media at the All-Star break; when Suter was non-committal in May; when Suter’s camp didn’t want an official contract offer before July 1st, Poile fell back on what Suter told him nine months ago: he wasn’t going anywhere.

– When Suter vented to the media at the All-Star break; when Suter was non-committal in May; when Suter’s camp didn’t want an official contract offer before July 1st, Poile was too naïve and should have seen the signs that Suter wasn’t chomping at the bit to re-sign.

I don’t think it was played particularly well by either side; you can draw your own conclusions. But for Suter to publicly give a pseudo checklist for how the Predators can keep him that essentially started and ended with “get some scoring help so we can win,” and then play the family card and not give the Predators a chance to counter-offer, is not Poile’s fault – even though he probably should have turned the page a month ago.

But hindsight is always 20/20, right?

Poile was in a bad situation all along – one that he put himself in – and it all started when the Predators went to arbitration with Shea Weber last August. He softened the blow of Summer 2012 when Pekka Rinne re-signed in November, but going into the off-season with Suter and Weber unsigned was not a good sign from the start.

From this point forward, Poile can’t think about Suter. It’s now in the past. Poile’s goal between now and puck-drop in October is to get Weber re-signed to a long-term deal.

“I need to talk to Shea and his representatives to go over all the dynamics of what [Suter leaving] does. I’m sure they want to know what we’re going to do going forward,” Poile said yesterday. “I feel really good about Shea. I know he feels really good about Nashville.”

Thing is, Poile felt the same about Suter until yesterday morning.

Losing Suter for nothing is one thing, but watching Weber exit stage left scot-free is the nightmare scenario. If Poile can’t get Weber signed to a long-term deal, a trade – as much as it would be a tough pill for the organization to swallow – has to become an option.

The worst thing that can happen for the Predators (aside from a dreaded one-year offer sheet) is having Weber enter the 2012-13 season on another one-year contract, staring down unrestricted free agency.

But as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

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One Response

  1. [...] The disappointing part is that is not what we talked about all year long.”As Ryan Porth at Smashville 24/7 concluded, either David Poile was misled by Suter or David Poile misread a situation that was unraveling over [...]