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Predators match Flyers offer and keep Weber, at least for now
It may not have been the outcome Shea Weber, Paul Holmgren and the Philadelphia Flyers were expecting but it is what both sides are stuck with. The Nashville Predators surprised many by matching the $110 million offer sheet, that will see their star blueliner stay in Nashville long term...or at least for the time being.
Edmonton - July 24, 2012 - It may not have been the outcome Shea Weber was hoping for when he signed his fourteen year offer sheet.and it was definitely not the result Paul Holmgren and the Philadelphia Flyers were expecting but it is what both sides are ultimately stuck with. The Nashville Predators surprised many by matching the $110 million offer sheet, that will see their star blueliner stay in Nashville long term...or at least for the time being.
It wasn't really a tough decision for General Manager David Poile to make. Any GM in their right mind would match the offer for the big defenceman but it really came down to one thing...money. It wasn't just about the lump sum but the fact they they would have to pay Weber a total of $26 million over the first year of the deal. That's a whole lot money, even for a guy as good as Weber.
Having said that, the idea of losing their two best players for what would amount to a bunch of late first rounders was too much for the organization to stomach and who could blame them? Losing two of the leagues best defenceman, in the same off season no less, would have been simply disastrous for the franchise.
So they are going to pony up and pay Mr.Weber his money but there is no guarantee he stays with the Preds long term. Weber and his agent can spin this however they would like but he clearly wanted out of town. Obviously, it would be tough for Poile and company to move their star defenceman after basically handing him $26 million but that day will come and it will be sooner than some think.
After forking over that much dough upfront, Weber becomes an even more attractive piece on the trade market and this time the Predators will hold the hammer. This deal does not include a no trade/movement clause, which means the power no resides with the organization and not the player. Make no mistake, Shea Weber started this mess by unnecessarily holding a gun to the franchises head but it will ultimately be the Nashville Predators who will determine where he finishes out what will certainly be a great career.
Shea is a great player and arguably the best defenceman in the NHL but no organization wants a guy who doesn't want to be there, especially when he is your captain. He will be a Predator for the foreseeable future but within a few years, Weber will find himself elsewhere and Nashville will be a much better club for it.
This time around they were in a no win situation because of Weber's decision to sign with the Flyers, despite the Predators best efforts to sign him to a long term deal. However, that won't be the case in the future. They will be much lighter in the pocketbook because of this but the loyal fans in "Music City" will have themselves one entertaining team to cheer on and it will be minus one Shea Weber.
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