While the NHL lockout was a pain for everyone, you have to imagine Ryan Suter didn't mind all that much when the scheduled dates versus his former team, the Nashville Predators, started getting the axe.
The original 2011-12 schedule saw the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators meeting four times. The lockout wiped out two. But if Suter thought that he might catch a break and only have to see the team he spent seven seasons with twice this season, the NHL's schedule-makers had other plans. The revamped calendar bumped the number right back up to four, and what's more, the first clash between Suter's current team and his former team came just 3 games in.
According to Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, checking for Nashville dates was the first thing Suter did when the schedule was re-released. "I was like, 'Oh, man. Right away,' " Suter said.
On Tuesday night, Ryan Suter faces the Nashville Predators for the first time.
It's been six months since Suter shocked David Poile and the Predators by jumping ship in free agency, agreeing instead to anchor the Minnesota Wild's blueline for the next 13 years, but with so little hockey being played since then, there hasn't been much time to adjust.
Tuesday night could be a bewildering experience. For instance,if Shea Weber calls for the puck, Suter's not supposed to give it to him. That'll be weird.
There doesn't appear to be much in the way of sour grapes between Suter and his former teammates. Most of them understand. “Guys move on every year,” Weber told Josh Cooper of the Tennesseean. “It’s part of the business. Teams trade you, guys sign with other teams. It’s just the way the business goes.” (Granted, if Weber had said anything else, someone might have pointed out that his deal was originally drawn up by the Philadelphia Flyers.)
If there are any hard feelings, they're between Suter and Predators' GM David Poile, who did little to hide how upset he was when Suter made the decision to join the Wild.
He still seems upset, frankly. But not to upset he can't shake Suter's hand. From the Tennesseean:
“I thought he was going to sign with us,” Poile said Monday. “From that standpoint, it was disappointing. If I was emotional, I don’t make any apologies for that. It was disappointing the way it turned out for us.
“I have nothing bad to say about Ryan. He was a terrific player for us. When I get to see him, I’ll shake his hand.”
Suter and Poile chatted briefly after practice Tuesday. It appeared to be a civil conversation, which is somewhat disappointing, since this blog would have been way more interesting if they fought or something.
So what is Suter looking most forward to in his first game against the Minnesota Wild? Having it be over.
And ideally, getting the win, since it would push the Wild to 3-0.