NASHVILLE Some professional sports organizations buy players. Some organizations nurture players.
The Nashville Predators are the latter. Since the franchise entered the NHL in 1998, it has had the same general manager and the same coach and the organization's philosophy has been one of drafting or signing young players, developing them through their minor-league and coaching system and allowing them to flourish at the pro level.
It's almost like a farmer who carefully prepares his soil, plants the seed, waters it, weeds it and harvests it. It's a painstaking process but one that ultimately bears fruit if one is patient and diligent enough.
All of this is what made Ryan Suter's departure from the Nashville Predators so painful. Suter left as a free agent a right he had earned under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and signed with the Minnesota Wild on July 4 of last year. The deal is 13 years long and worth 98 million.
On Saturday, he returned to Nashville for the fi...