The Nashville Predators are 9-1-0 in their last 10.

They have 64 points.

They are third in the Central Division, arguably the best division in the league at the moment (who would have thunk it) and only three points out first place in the entire NHL.

Impressive.

They have something like $14.4 million dollars in cap space.

Even more impressive.

They are also being held hostage by Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.

Weber’s words lead a reasonable person to believe he has no interest in signing anytime soon. Ryan Suter dropped the little bomb today that he won’t negotiate a contract before the trade deadline.

Both of them are using the “we want to see if the organization is committed to winning” line as the reason they have not signed.

Whatever. They want money, lots of it, Nashville’s financial situation is not stable and both want to play in a bigger and more secure market. Winning is part of that equation as well but the rest of it is not the “politically correct” thing to say. I doubt any of them would be honest enough to state, “we want a shit load of money from a big market team that has stable ownership and we just don’t see that in Nashville, no offense of course.”

So, what becomes of them? That is the subject of this article.

Shea Weber is the best defenseman in the league. I can write that and mean it. I would take him over any of ours and all others. Ryan Suter is a damn good defenseman. Top 10? I don’t know. He is an All-Star though. Suter is also due for a raise from his current $3.5 million.

I don’t want to see Weber or Suter on San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, Detroit or Colorado. Each of these teams has the cap space and/or players to land one of these two and, of the two, I am most concerned about Shea Weber. He is a franchise player. Does Bobby Ryan like country music? Because that is a possibility. Dan Boyle has a limited NTC starting June 30, 2012 (he can pick 8 teams he won’t go to) and Brent Burns plus picks and prospects is in the ballpark. Dallas has the cap space. So does Detroit, which makes me ill as does Colorado.

What about the L.A. Kings? Come on. Is that even realistic? Drew Doughty for Shea Weber, with an understanding between the two clubs that we can talk to Weber’s people ahead of time and make a quick trade and sign? Don’t be crazy. Dean sending Drew to Nashville as a fuck you for the summer bullshit and a King size middle finger to Don Meehan? You’ve lost your mind. Who thinks like that?

Go east you bastards! That is all I am saying.