Virtually every team in the National Hockey League has interest in heralded All-Star defenseman Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. But after rumors of potential deals involving Weber with other teams, it was Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren who made the bold move to sign Weber – a restricted free agent – to a 14-year offer sheet as reported by Darren Dreger of TSN. The offer is reportedly worth in excess of $100 million.
Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Nashville has seven days to match the Flyers’ offer sheet or they will lose Weber and receive compensatory draft picks. Depending on the contract amount, the Predators’ could receive up to four first rounds picks.
The 26-year-old three-time All-Star defenseman continued to prove his offensive prowess on the Nashville blue line last year, registering 19 goals and 30 assists. Along with his offensive production, Weber’s strengths include moving players out of the crease on defense and his leadership skills. Weber was captain for the Preds during their run in the playoffs last season.
The Predators will have a huge decision to make over the next seven days. Either don’t match the offer sheet and start the rebuilding process, or match the offer sheet and spend money to add valuable pieces for the years to come. Per the CBA, Nashville cannot trade Weber for one full year if they decide not to match the offer.
Weber has spent his entire career in the Nashville organization, totaling 99 goals and 146 assists during his seven year NHL career. He was selected with the 49th pick of the 2003 NHL entry draft by the Predators.