Late last night the Philadelphia Flyers forced the hands of the Nashville Predators by signing restricted free agent Shea Weber to a 14-year $100 million offer sheet. The signing means the Predators now have 7 days to match the offer if they hope to keep the services of Weber, who finished with 19 goals and 30 assists last season, his 2nd straight as a first team NHL all-star.
Nashville GM David Poile in a statement released today said: “We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and She Weber. We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea. Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term. We do not anticipate any further comments on this situation until we make our decision within the next seven days.”
Preds fans better hope he’s true to his word of matching any offer, because the team already lost all-star d-man Ryan Suter to free agency.
For the Flyers, it would cost them there next 4 1st round picks as compensation to sign Weber, a price that seems relatively just for a players of his caliber. The likelihood, of course, is that the picks will be late in the first round given the talent that makes up this Philadelphia team.
The signing also seems to indicate that captain Chris Pronger is more likely to retire than return after battling concussion issues for much of last season.
The details of the offer sheet are the following: $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six; $6 million in each of the next four seasons; $3 million in year 11; and $1 million in each of the remaining years.