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Shea Weber Signs Massive Offer Sheet with Flyers

UPDATE: The Predators have matched Philadelphia’s offer sheet, making Weber a Pred For Life as well as giving him the largest contract in franchise history.
For Nashville Predators GM David Poile, this offseason can’t get much worse. Only two weeks after losing top defenseman Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild, Poile could potentially lose the other half of his first defensive pairing, Shea Weber, to the Philadelphia Flyers. Per a press announcement released by the Flyers this morning, the Flyers reached an agreement with the 3 time All Star and Team Captain that would pay him $100 million over 14 years. Poile and the Predators have 7 days to match. The Flyers were known to have previously been in discussions with the Predators for Weber but after no agreement was reached, they decided to sign him to an offer sheet. It seems that Poile has reached the crossroads as to which direction the franchise will head in. If Poile matches the offer, Weber remains a Predator practically for the rest of his career (the contract ends when he turns 40). The Preds will still have enough cap space to get things done even with Weber’s new contract on their books. If Poile lets Weber go however, the team will no longer be contenders and will enter a rebuilding phase. Four first round compensatory draft picks from the Flyers will help ease the pain even if they will probably be late first rounders. The problem with letting Weber walk can also be seen from a merchandise/ticketing standpoint. As it is, Nashville is a rather small hockey market and the team will have a tough time selling both Suter and Weber’s departures to the fans. It will be especially tough for the fans as they just came off of a conference semifinals run the previous season. The deal could also possible make the Flyers a very dangerous team in the Eastern conference and while that isn’t Poile’s problem, we could see a drop in parity around the league. Poile will defenitly have a lot of thinking to do over the next seven days as the decision he makes might not only change the face of the Nashville Predators but will also reshape the NHL landscape.


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