The Nashville Predators announced today that they will retain captain and star defensemen Shea Weber as they matched the offer sheet. They sign Weber to a 14 year, $110M contract.
Last week, Shea Weber signed an offer sheet with Philadelphia giving Nashville 7 days to match it. Trade talks between Philadelphia and Nashville ensued but Nashville eventually matched it on the fifth day.
The Predators released a statement following today’s announcement. They boiled the contract down to three main points of which helped them make the decision:
- Is Shea Weber the player Nashville wants to lead their Stanley Cup contending team for the next 14 season?
- Would the long-term contract be in the interest of both the player and club?
- Would not signing the offer sheet send a negative message to current/prospective franchise players?
Nashville GM, David Poile, answered all those questions with “yes” so they decided to match the offer sheet.
This is big news for Nashville as their star player will remain in town for the next 14 seasons. It would’ve been a huge loss as they already lost Ryan Suter via free agency. The contract is very long and expensive, but Nashville has the money available to invest in their star defenseman.
Shea Weber is one of the league’s best defensemen. As the captain of the Nashville Predators for the past two seasons, Weber has led his team on and off the ice. In five of his last six seasons, Weber has recorded over 40 points with a career high of 53 in 2008-2009. For the past two seasons, Weber has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy, given to the league’s top defenseman. Weber plays and succeeds in every situation he is put in. Weber has been key for the Predators over the last few seasons, guiding them into the playoffs.
Though Suter is out of the picture, the Predators still have a very good team with goalie Pekka Rinne, defensemen Ryan Ellis and Hal Gill, and forwards Gabriel Bourque, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Martin Erat. In a very competitive Western Conference, Nashville will be right in the thick of things. They finished 4th in the conference last season and will be in contention for that spot or higher this upcoming season.
For Philadelphia, offering Weber an offer sheet was low risk, high reward. Though Weber remains with Nashville, Philly won’t lose anything. They knew it was likely Nashville would match the offer sheet, but was worth the chance that they wouldn’t. The Flyers may look to add another defenseman via a trade or free agency depending on who is available.
More to Come..
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