Shea Weber Rumors: Suitors Continue to Drop Back from Predators' Defenseman

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJune 26, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07:  Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators skates with the puck in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Predators 2-1 to win the series 4 games to 1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the start of free agency less than a week away, one superstar player that hasn't been in the news a whole lot is Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber.

There are two reasonable explanations for this, one is because he's a restricted free agent, and the other is that superstar teammate Ryan Suter is the best unrestricted free agent blueliner of the summer.

Since several big names are on the trade market, teams like the Philadelphia Flyers that are constantly involved in rumors probably don't have Weber atop their list of priorities.

#Flyers most likely will not make offer sheet to RFA Shea Weber, I'm told.

— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) June 22, 2012

Since Suter will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 if he's not signed before then, teams seem to be paying more attention to him than Weber.

The popular opinion is that Suter and Weber's fates are linked. If one leaves the Predators in the summer, it's tough to imagine the other staying long-term. The likely scenario is that the two either stay together or find different teams.

According to Dan Rosen of, Weber would like to keep playing with Suter.

Shea Weber says he is giving Ryan Suter his space, but he of course wants to play with Suter for the rest of his career.

— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 19, 2012

It's unrealistic for the two defensemen to think they will keep playing with each other unless they re-sign with Nashville, which is certainly a possibility.

If Suter does sign with another team in free agency, however, expect the teams that missed out on Suter to step up their pursuit of Weber. With teams knowing that Weber will likely leave if Suter does, he could become the most sought after RFA ever.

Weber is not earning a lot of attention as an RFA right now, but all that can change very quickly depending on what Suter chooses do in free agency. Not only are their futures on the line, so is the long-term future of the Nashville Predators organization.