The Predators announced that they have matched the Flyers’ offer sheet to Shea Weber:
In the most important hockey transaction in franchise history, Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile and CEO Jeff Cogen announced today that the team has matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet between the Philadelphia Flyers and defenseman Shea Weber, insuring that the Predators' captain will remain with the franchise for the next 14 years.
The decision to enter into the largest contract in franchise history was made by all parts of the organization, including ownership, hockey operations and business operations.
As the organization analyzed the overall situation and worked toward a conclusion, the decision boiled down to three questions:
– Was Shea Weber the individual that this franchise wanted to lead our team, a team that would compete for the Stanley Cup every year, for the next 14 years?
– Would matching the offer sheet be in the best long-term interest of the team and organization?
– Would a decision not to match the offer sheet send a negative message to current Predators players and other NHL organizations, a message that the Predators would only go so far to protect its best players and be pushed around by teams with "deep pockets?"
The answer to each of the above questions is clearly “yes.” The organization spent the last several days analyzing all aspects of the offer sheet, from economic implications to the impact on the team hockey operations puts on the ice.
The image associated with that release on the Predator's website?
Paul Holmgren statement from the Flyers: "In tendering an offer sheet to Shea Weber, we were trying to add a top defenseman entering the prime of his career. With Nashville matching our offer, we wish Shea and the Predators all the best."
Weber wanted to be here – he and his agent said as much – but he will now, awkwardly, go back to Nashville
You certainly can't blame the Flyers for a lack of trying, but what could have been a great offseason goes back to being a lousy one, especially with the news that the Rangers have traded for Rick Nash.
The Flyers tried for, and missed out on, Weber, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They traded James van Riemsdyk and Sergei Bobrovsky, and didn’t re-sign Jaromir Jagr or Matt Carle. They added Luke Schenn (easily the best of this bunch), Ruslan Fedotenko, Bruno Gervais, and re-signed Michael Leighton. That’s not progress.
There are reports out there that they made an offer to Shane Doan, and Bobby Ryan's name still comes up, but the Flyers are quickly running out of options. Weber was probably the best fit, though, and now he’s staying in Nashville.
As we pointed out last week, this certainly will put a financial strain on the Predators, as it appears that Weber will collect more money in the next 12 months – $27 million – than the Preds will make in ticket revenue next season.
There's no chance of a sign and trade, either– the Predators can’t trade Weber for one year now.