All-star defenseman Ryan Suter says he'd prefer to stay in Nashville

Posted: January 28, 2012

OTTAWA - All-star defenseman Ryan Suter, a potential unrestricted free agent on July 1 who has drawn trade inquiries from the Flyers, said that if everything were equal, he would like to remain with Nashville.

Suter, who has a $3.5 million cap hit this season, hinted that he would not sign during the season - opening the possibility of a trade before the Feb. 27 deadline - but added that he did not want to be traded.

"Nashville is a great place to live and raise a family," he said Friday during an all-star media day interview.

The All-Star Game is Sunday at 4 p.m. in Ottawa.

Asked if he would like to play for the Flyers if he became a free agent, Suter said, "I don't think about where I want to be. I focus on being a good player on our team. The time will come for all that, and now is not the time. Our team is doing very good right now, and hopefully we can go and get that piece we might need for the playoffs."

Suter said his agent and the Predators had "talked ideas" but had not been negotiating during the season.

The kid's choice

If not for the urging of his 12-year-old son, Samuel, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen admitted, he may have been tempted to rest his body and not play in the All-Star Game.

"He's into hockey a lot, and he's in a fantasy league and that kind of stuff," said the gracefully aging Timonen. "Obviously, this is a really big thing for him, and I'm going to take him into the locker room [Saturday]."

Timonen's parents traveled from Finland to Ottawa for the weekend, and his wife and three children are also here to watch his fourth all-star appearance.

Timonen, 36, will play for Team Chara and will oppose Flyers teammates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, who will compete for Team Alfredsson.

Timonen said he would love to be paired with his team's captain, Boston's Zdeno Chara. They would form the Odd Couple. Chara is 6-foot-9, 255 pounds. Timonen is listed at 5-10 (but looks smaller), 194 pounds.

It's fitting Timonen is sharing the all-star experience with Hartnell. They were teammates in Nashville and are close friends. They are co-owners of a Finnish hockey team, and Hartnell goes to Finland each summer to play in Timonen's charity golf tournament.

Skills competition

In Saturday night's skills competition, Sean Couturier will participate in the breakaway challenge, and fellow rookie Matt Read will compete in the shooting-accuracy contest. Hartnell will compete in the one-timer segment, Timonen will be in the passing-accuracy competition, and Giroux will take part in the stickhandling challenge.

Giroux and Timonen are also in the elimination shoot-out.

The all-stars and rookies will compete in six events, and they will be televised on the NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m.

Breakaways

Timonen criticized the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin for giving up an all-star spot. "This is kind of your personal choice, but for the fans I don't think it's right," Timonen told the Washington Times. "Still, the fans are the ones who pay our salary and that kind of stuff. They wanted to see him; he's one of the best players in the world." . . . Read was 4 for 5 in a minor-league shooting contest similar to Saturday's, one in which contestants will fire at targets.


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com or on Twitter @BroadStBull.

 

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