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At the Rink blog

Suter to face former team for first time

Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 2:01 PM

By Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Suter to face former team for first time

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will take on his old team for the first time tonight when the Wild play the Nashville Predators at Xcel Energy Center.

It will be a unique experience for Suter, who signed with Minnesota on July 4 after spending the first seven years of his career in a Predators uniform. He said it will be a tough game to play in, based on his years of service with Nashville and the relationships forged with players and coaches.

"They are your teammates, the last [seven] years for me," Suter said. "It's tough to play against them but it's a part of professional sports. You have to balance that."

His longtime defensive partner, Predators captain Shea Weber, has been asked several times over the past several days about the prospect of playing against Suter. It was easy to see he's sick of talking about it.

"It'll definitely be different," Weber said. "We played together for a long time. The ultimate goal for both teams is winning, so I think both teams will do what it takes."

Much was made of the comments by Nashville general manager David Poile after Suter signed with Minnesota.

"I was looking at all my notes yesterday," Poile said in a conference call after Suter had signed. "Ryan had said when we had a meeting in November with he and Neil Sheehy (Suter's agent), he said at the time that he is not going anywhere else, he is signing with the Nashville Predators.

"Whether this franchise is in Timbuktu, the one point of not choosing to stay and play with Shea Weber, I will never, ever understand that."

Tuesday, Suter said he and Poile had their first conversation since then.

"He came down to the bench and we talked," Suter said. "He's a classy guy and I have a lot of respect for him. He has given me a lot of opportunities and I'll always respect him and appreciate him."

Suter chose not to share what was said between him and Poile this morning, saying it was a private conversation.

Low-key by nature, Suter said he was just looking forward to having it be over. He chuckled when asked if it was unfair fellow newcomer Zach Parise wouldn't have to go through the same thing this season because the Wild won't play the New Jersey Devils.

"That is kind of bull," Suter said.

Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning