I wasn’t convinced that the Predators would match the offer sheet for Shea Weber largely because I didn’t think they’d have enough money. By matching, they clearly do. In the grand scheme of things, nothing has changed – the Flyers still have plenty of cap space and Weber is still in Nashville.
Not many people are surprised the Predators matched. I am somewhat surprised, since I didn’t think the Preds would or could invest more than 15 per cent of their franchise value in one player. Shea Weber may be a franchise superstar, but any contract with big money and long years has considerable risk. The obvious example would be Ilya Bryzgalov, who put up less than stellar numbers in year one of his monster contract. For a money-conscious team that’s an enormous investment for a single player, though Weber has missed only nine games over the past four seasons.
Forget about the bogus statement released by the Predators, which talked about how keeping Weber was a hockey decision. That was the easy question to answer for Poile. The infinitely more important question is (and forever will be) whether or not the Preds have the money.
I’m not so sure we’ve seen the end of this. Yes, it’s possible David Poile could turn around and hand Jakub Voracek, the Flyers’ only significant RFA, an outrageous offer sheet, but I’m not talking about retaliation. I’m not convinced Weber wants to stay in Nashville, and with no Ryan Suter that team is weaker and further away from winning the Cup, and Weber has repeatedly said he wants to win.
I’m willing to bet anything that Shea Weber will be leaving Nashville in three years.
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