Both players were offered multi-millions of dollars from multiple teams but ultimately decided Minnesota was the place they wanted to be. For Suter, that meant leaving the Nashville Predators, the club that selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Nashville head coach Barry Trotz casually addressed Suter's decision on Wednesday morning during a radio spot on 102.5 The Game. When Trotz was asked about the Predators rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings -- who will be moving to the Eastern Conference in 2013-14 -- he stated that he wanted to start new rivalries and hoped the Wild would be at the top of the list:
"We've got to start new rivalries, like us and Minnesota. They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and simple."
The context of the comment was jovial, as was the entirety of the interview. I think it was a rather innocuous statement that might have been more of a joke than anything else. Of course, I don't know Trotz all that well.
Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck had a different opinion of the comment:
I know it was a casual remark, but Trotz is an experienced coach, and he knows that people pay attention to his words. This attitude that somehow the Predators were wronged by Suter doesn't reflect well at all on either the team or the fan base, especially when it's voiced by a leading member of the organization.
Personally, I'd rather hear talk about how the Preds plan to wrestle the Central Division crown from Chicago than settling personal scores with a team that merely aspires to qualify for the playoffs.
You can listen to the entirety of the interview below (there is a wonderful moment where Trotz discusses his involvement with a Best Buddies Fundraiser).
h/t to Dirk Hoag, On the Forecheck