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