Huge news broke around 1:00 AM last night: the Flyers got Shea Weber to sign a 14-year offer sheet worth upwards of $100 million. Just below that in the “huge news” category is that the Predators had been in trade talks with a group of teams that included the Red Wings. The Flyers just got tired of waiting, apparently.
Now the question is whether or not the Predators will match. They’ve always made it clear they would match any offer, but Josh Cooper points out even that certainty was limited by the up front money. Darren Dreger points out that it could be as much as $26 million in the first year. That could be a squeeze for the Predators and it may be telling that they haven’t matched it yet. They’ve got a week, but if matching is automatic, they’ve had plenty of time already.
But even if they do eventually match, this is exactly the kind of thing the Flyers should be doing: using the means available to them per the CBA to better their team. It may not pay off, but if it does, it may be the deal of the summer.
It’s something the Wings should have gone for, given the reality of Life After Lidstrom, if for no other reason. I’m curious what assets were discussed in the trade talks, but mostly I’m disappointed that this wasn’t seen as a usable strategy by a team desperately in need of a top pairing defenseman. The Predators may be even more inclined to match an offer from the Wings, but this is one of those cases where you leave no stone un-turned.
But what’s done is done. Now we get to enjoy the hilarity of the NHL’s CBA negotiation demands juxtaposed with one of the most powerful franchises from a Board of Governors standpoint offering Shea Weber the moon. I guess that sorta makes it worth it.