Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Suter's agent: No list of teams he will or won't go to

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings draft, Wild off-season news Updated: June 15, 2012 - 10:34 AM

I got a few tweets last night asking if the Wild may trade for Ryan Suter's rights now that it's out there that he's supplied a list of teams to the Nashville Predators that he's willing to have his rights traded to.

I never saw those reports, so I gave Suter's agent, Neil Sheehy, a call and he denied them, saying it's "100 percent untrue" that Suter 1) has a list of teams he would and would not go to and 2) that he's given any list to Preds GM David Poile.

That doesn't mean a deal with Nashville will get done prior to July 1, but Sheehy at least denies there's any list(s).

I've gotten a ton of questions as to what I think will happen with Suter.

My opinion is essentially the same as what I wrote I believed will happen with Zach Parise: I think both will become free agents.

That's not to say that after July 1 Parise wouldn't go back to New Jersey and Suter wouldn't go back to Nashville, but players like Parise and Suter have this opportunity to become free agents in their prime only once in their careers.

I think both are curious to see what else is out there in terms of interested teams and potential money. Like I said, you could always go back to your original teams, but very rarely does it get this close to free agency and a player just signs on the dotted line prior to July 1.

We've seen it here with Marian Gaborik, with especially Brian Rolston.

Rolston loved Minnesota. But the Wild didn't get a contract done with Rolston the previous fall, the sniper had a third consecutive 30-goal season and he decided he wanted to see what else was out there. He did, and was offered a four-year contract topping $5 million per with New Jersey.

I don't think there's any doubt Suter loves Nashville -- both the city and franchise. But at this point, I think he waits. It's not like Nashville wouldn't welcome him back with open arms on July 2 or 3.

As for trading his rights, it'll be interesting. Nashville has done that before with Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell and Dan Hamhuis to Philadelphia and Dan Ellis to Montreal. In other words, all Eastern Conference teams. So 1) Would Poile trade Suter's rights to the West; 2) Would Poile trade his rights at all if he wants to get him back after July 1.

Also, if you're another team, how do you give up any assets for Suter's rights unless you're given permission to have a conversation with the guy first to see if he's even interested in signing prior to July 1? I say that because my theory remains the same: If Suter's waited this long, why wouldn't he just wait until July 1 to sign with a team? So trading actual assets for a short window to negotiate with Suter/Parise could wind up being fruitless and thus a risk.

Again, my example: Brian Rolston. The Wild traded Rolston's rights to Tampa Bay, Rolston didn't sign with the Lightning, he eventually signed with New Jersey and the Wild still got a draft pick out of it.

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Also, I've gotten some questions about the Wild's draft positions next week.

On Friday, June 22, it selects 7th overall.

On Saturday, June 23, it selects 46th (Washington's second, acquired from New Jersey in the Marek Zidlicky trade; the Wild traded its second to San Jose in the Brent Burns for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and first-round pick that became Zack Phillips trade); 68th, 98th, 128th, 158th and 188th.

Of course, that's barring trades.

Remember, GM Chuck Fletcher loves to flip picks at the draft to move up or down.

In 2009, he moved from 12 to 16 to draft Nick Leddy and got two draft picks from the Islanders that became Matt Hackett and Erik Haula. He also acquired Kyle Brodziak and a sixth (Darcy Kuemper) for a fourth and fifth.

In 2010, he acquired the 59th pick (Jason Zucker) for the 69th and 99th.

In 2011, he acquired the 60th pick (Mario Lucia) for the 71st and 101st.

Also, I keep getting questions about the exhibition schedule and regular-season schedule (barring a lockout). Both will be released next week, and the exhibition schedule in terms of at least opponents is on the previous blog.

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