JILTED LOVERS

Nashville hates the team that stole its star D-man’s heart: Min­nesota

The Hockey News - Rivalries 2014 - - Team Vs. Team -

IT WAS MU­SIC to the Preda­tors’ col­lec­tive ears when they found out Min­nesota would join them in the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion, as the two teams had a se­ri­ous score to set­tle. The Wild’s stud de­fense­man, Ryan Suter, was once part of the league’s most elite tan­dem in Nashville along­side Shea We­ber. Then came un­re­stricted free agency in the sum­mer of 2012, right when the Preds were on the precipice of be­com­ing le­git Stan­ley Cup con­tenders.

Suter left for the Land of 10,000 Lakes – and $98 mil­lion, spread over 13 years. Suter signed an iden­ti­cal deal to that of Zach Parise, who was poached from the Devils simultaneously. The Min­nesota coup was pulled o by owner

MIKE FISHER

Craig Leipold, the same man who founded the Preda­tors, which added to the sting.

And don’t think for a sec­ond it’s an overblown ri­valry. “They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and sim­ple,” coach Barry Trotz told re­porters after re­align­ment in 2013. Trotz is gone, but the feud con­tin­ues.

The two teams meet Dec. 20, Jan. 10, Feb. 26, March 17 and April 9.

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