The Nashville Predators will tell anyone who asks that they have every intention of signing a new contract with thoroughbred defenseman Ryan Suter, and complete confidence that it will happen.
Suter himself isn't saying much.
If his name isn't on the dotted line by July 1, Suter ranks as the fattest catch in this year's free agent market.
At 27 years old, he's entering his prime as an all-around defensive force. No commodity in hockey is more highly valued.
Even with an uncertain summer ahead, thanks to an expiring collective bargaining agreement, an available Ryan Suter would surely set off a bidding war for the ages.
Here's a look at the defensemen scheduled to become unrestricted free agents if they don't re-sign with their current teams in the next three months.
- 2012 NHL Free Agent Forwards: Centermen and wingers scheduled to become unrestricted NHL free agents on July 1.
- NHL Free Agent Center: Here's your guide to NHL free agents, the rules of the market, and the NHL salary cap.
(Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)