Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flyers Do Predators a Favour!

1) The word leaked late yesterday that apparently the Philadelphia Flyers have given Restricted Free Agent, Shea Weber an "Offer Sheet".  The word is that its a 14 year, 110 million dollar deal that would amount to a 7.8 mil cap hit to the Flyers.  Ofcourse as a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) the Predators have the 'right to match' the offer.  If they do (and we believe they will) the offer automatically becomes Weber's binding contract with Nashville.

2) The Flyers feel they are in need of a defensemen when they lost Carle to free agency to Tampa earlier this summer and its assumed that Chris Pronger's career is over. In order to try to prevent the Predators from retaining their captain they significantly 'front loaded' the deal. Reports indicate that  Weber will make $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six, or 68% of the contract in 42% of the contract length.  Not a bad deal for Shea.  He wins either way. We believe he decided to sign this deal now because its widely believed that the new CBA will severely restrict long term deals, so this might be the last of its kind. If this were 2 years ago we're certain Weber would have waited until next summer when he was a UFA and probably would have received an even larger offer from as many as 15 teams.

3) Realities being what they are, Weber decided it was safer to take this route. He is now financially set and will be playing the rest of his career in either Philly or Nashville.  The compensation for Nashville if they decide they won't match (doubtful!) would be 4 first round picks.  On the surface that sounds steep, but in all probability the Flyers 1st round pick will likely be in the 20-30 range for the next few seasons.  Its hardly likely the Preds would be able to select an elite player(s) with a pick that low in the 1st round. 

4) Even though it will undoubtedly be a bit of a hardship for Nashville to come up with such a large sum (14+ million) in the long run the contract is probably less than they would have had to offer to retain  him after the current season when he'd be a UFA.  Its a bit more than Minny paid for Suter, but Weber is a superior player and one asset that is absolutely irreplaceable!  Therefore we take David Poile at his word when he stated both before AND after the offer sheet was made that the (Nashville) would match any offer sheets. We also dismiss the nonsense that some are writing that Weber accepting the offer was alienating the Predators and that would force them to trade him after this next season.  Sorry folks, but once Weber is retained by Nashville there will be NO hard feelings.  After all, all the Flyers did was do Nashville a favour and ensure they have their captain for the rest of his career!

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