Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flyers sign Shea Weber to massive offer sheet

The Flyers made huge news late last night when they signed Predators defenseman Shea Weber to a 14 year, 110 million dollar contract.  Since Weber is a restricted free agent, Nashville will have one week to match the Flyers offer if they want to keep their star defenseman.  Should they not match, the Flyers would get Weber but they would be forced to fork over 4 future first round picks.

While Weber is certainly worth the money, it isn't a guarantee that the Predators will match.  The way the Flyers structured the contract, Weber will made 26 million dollars in the first year alone and make more than half of the money in the first 4 years.  For a team without a ton of cash laying around like the Predators, this might not be a deal they can afford to match.

Should the Predators not match, the Flyers will be adding one of the best d-men in the league.  Not only is Weber known for doling out big hits, he has a big shot from the point and can log a ton of ice time.  As the Nashville captain, Weber would also bring leadership to the Flyers and would replace the huge hole left by the injured Chris Pronger.

Speaking of Pronger, this offer sheet likely confirms that Pronger will never again play hockey.  Should the Flyers get Weber, they will also have to make a few moves to shed some salary.  It could mean that Andrej Meszaros and Jakub Voracek have to be shipped out or the Flyers could move an even bigger contract off the books.

It wouldn't be a hockey offseason if Paul Holmgren didn't make a gutsy move.  Adding Weber to one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference would further cement the Flyers as a Stanley Cup favorite.  Early indications are that the Predators can't afford to match but they still have a week to figure out whether they can make it work.  It will be a long week of waiting for the Flyers and their fans.

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