GMs chasing blueliners should call Predators

Defencemen are a hot commodity for NHL general managers.

League sources told QMI Agency that “if you’ve got an extra defenceman, you might want to hold onto him.” No fewer than 10 teams are looking for blue-line help, due to injuries or inability in their own zone.

While Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier has been the most desperate to find a defenceman with Andrei Markov still sidelined with a knee injury, he isn’t the only one.
The Rangers, Oilers, Canucks, Blues, Jets, Coyotes, Lightning, Jackets and Isles are also in the market for help defensively. That’s a third of the league for those keeping score at home, so there’s urgency. But the market is thin.

Perhaps those teams should be calling Nashville GM David Poile to check on the availability of Ryan Suter. The belief is he won’t be signing an extension with the Predators anytime soon and will become available.

Poile also has to find a way to keep Shea Weber, who is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

According to a league executive, it’s going to be difficult for the Predators to keep both defencemen after goalie Pekka Rinne was signed to a seven-year, $49-million contract.

“My guess is both of those players could argue they are as valuable to the team as Rinne,” said the executive. “You’d have to think that (contract) is going to cost them one of those guys.”

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