Ryan Suter will meet again with the Nashville Predators in a couple of weeks before he makes a decision about hitting the free-agent market. But wherever he lands, he wants to stay for a long time.
The All-Star defenseman, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, spoke Wednesday as the Predators prepared to go home for the summer after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night. The 27-year-old said family will play a major role in the decision.
"Wherever I sign, I want to be there for the rest of my career," he said, "and that affects my family, my wife, my kid, if we have more kids … everything plays into it."
However, Suter was noncommittal about staying in Nashville, where he has spent his entire NHL career. Despite the fact that GM David Poile made a number of roster additions at the trading deadline, the Predators were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs -- just as they were a year ago, when they won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.
Defense - NSH
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 4
SOG: 30 | +/-: -3
"This morning I had a meeting with David and we talked about everything and the future, and how everything will go," he said. "I think we're going to meet again in a couple of weeks and kind of make a decision."
Suter is one of three All-Stars on the Predators. Nashville signed goaltender Pekka Rinne to a seven-year, $49 million contract during the season, and fellow All-Star defenseman Shea Weber has one year and $7.5 million remaining on a deal he received last summer after arbitration.
If Suter does opt for free agency, he's sure to have a number of teams interested in him. For now, however, he wants to unwind for a couple of weeks after a long season.
"Your emotions are so high throughout the year, and you try not to have any distractions, and you're so focused," he said. "Now that the year is over you, want to get away from everything and wind down and you got meetings going on and get back home with your family, but I think the time is to get away from everything."