Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eulogy for Steve Sullivan as a Nashville Predator

Steve Sullivan at the NHL Awards Show during happier times

I went to an extended three hour meeting at lunch and came back to sort through the pieces to what appears to be the end of Steve Sullivan's career with the Nashville Predators.

First thing I saw was that Puck Daddy had a story about @sully reacting to a David Poile interview on WNSR via Twitter. His information was taken from Dirk Hoag's article at OnThe Forecheck, who was a first hand witness to the interview and tweets and has the original story.

Here's an interesting exchange between Hockeybuzz's Brandon Felder (BF) and Steve Sullivan (SS) that was on my Tweetdeck.

SS: WOW! WOW! WOW! (during interview Poile Interview)

BF: Just heard a rumor that @Sully26 was looking for 4 years, around 5 mill per year. Feel free to shoot down the rumor Steve.

SS: Yes i will shoot that down!

BF: @Sully26 Ok bud. I take your word for it. Hope it all works out for you regardless. You've been 1 on my favs to talk to each year.

BF: As most of you saw, @Sully26 says those rumors are false so that rumor is down for the count.

Later BF: Wow. Sources are coming in quick. @Sully26 reportedly willing to go 2 or 3 yrs at 4.5 or 5 but Preds said no. Just a rumor as stated.

Even Later BF: This whole situation is fascinating. Plus its playing out somewhat on Twitter. Interesting that @Sully26 didn't deny my 2nd rumor.

I wish that all this was a misunderstanding and that Steve Sullivan and the Preds will come to an agreement before free agency begins tomorrow, but I am a realist.

If all this plays out the way it looks like it's going, Steve Sullivan will be playing elsewhere in October. Sully has always been a fan favorite and will be long remembered positively for his years in Nashville and being the first Predator to win an NHL Award with his Masterton Trophy.

Hockey players have a limited period of time to make money for a lifetime, so Steve cannot be faulted for chasing the dollar when it appears that he will get a substantially better deal elsewhere through the free agent process.

On the flip side, the Predators have a very tight budget and can only do what they are able to do. This appears to be a situation where no matter how much everyone wants to put a square peg in a round hole, its not going to fit.

With everything Sullivan has been through, with two surgeries and two years of rehab, he deserves the full support of the Nashville fans as he does what he has to do to provide for his family and future security.

Sully, you will be missed. Thanks for the memories.

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thanks to @sully26, Brandon Felder, Dirk Hoag and Puck Daddy for leaving the trail to follow.

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