The Weber Offer Sheet
Well now, doesn’t that just make things interesting?
Shea Weber has signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers for 14 years and in the neighborhood of $110M depending on varying reports. Breaking down a detailed process into simplified terms, Nashville has one week to match the offer. If the Predators match the sheet, the offer kicks in as his contract here in Nashville.
If you’re Nashville, you definitely want #6 back in gold. He’s your captain, and the player you’ve hung the franchise’s ten-gallon hat on along with Pekka Rinne. The Predators have steadfastly said all along that they will match any offer sheet for Weber, and there is certainly no worry about cap room for the team.
To look at things one way, this does cut out some uncertainty. There is now an offer for a contract that is concrete in terms of years and cash. It would also go a long way for the Predators to know that both Weber and Rinne are your cornerstone players for the next seven years without hesitation, and that’s a pair of players I think any franchise would want to build around.
From the Flyers side, this is a last-ditch effort to get a player you really want. If you thought you could have worked out a trade for Weber, then you don't float this out there. If you realize that the trade option wasn't available and that Weber was likely to sign a long-term contract this summer, then the last option to get the player is the offer sheet option, especially if Philadelphia believes Weber is the guy that makes them a Cup contender every year. Weber is among the top three defensemen in the game, bar none. And if the offer is matched by the Predators there are no repercussions for the Flyers, they simply don’t get the player in the end.
Keep in mind that the NHL does not allow sign-and-trade type of deals under the CBA (like the NBA for example), so whichever way the ends --- with Nashville matching or with Philadelphia winning the bid --- Weber cannot be traded ANYWHERE for a year because of the offer sheet.
As an aside, this also seems to signal that Chris Pronger’s playing days are done (at least with the Flyers) as there would be a real need to place him and his contract on long term IR. Philadelphia currently has just over $28M committed to eight defensemen (without Weber in the mix) and Pronger’s $4.92M cap hit would have to go somewhere. Say what you want about Pronger but it would be sad to see another career end due to concussion issues.
At the end of the day, this isn’t something that will be decided today by noon. There are a lot of moving parts in place, and Nashville’s hockey operations will definitely need to review every single part of the offer sheet and its impact. Again, the team has always maintained its intention to match any offer, but like any lengthy, detailed contract, the documents will take time to review.