Shea Weber: How Signing Defenseman Would Help Flyers Return to Stanley Cup

Alex FieldCorrespondent IIJuly 19, 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 Philadelphia Flyers signing defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet, the Flyers are bolstering their unit for a return to the Stanley Cup.

The Flyers have not made it to the Cup since 2010, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, with Weber in the fold, the Flyers could revert back to their 2010 form, with a strong defensive presence.

The Flyers ranked second in goals scored last year, averaging a sizzling 3.2 per contest. However, they were weak on the defensive side of the puck, allowing 2.74 goals per contest—ranking them 20th in the NHL.

The Flyers have severely missed defenseman Chris Pronger, who is battling concussion problems and only mustered one goal during the 13 games he appeared in.

Without Pronger, the Flyers were seemingly lost on defense and could not slow down the opposition’s attack. Following the onset of the offseason, Philadelphia has already lost fellow defenseman Matt Carle, who signed with Tampa Bay.

Weber would certainly ease the burden on the Flyers and could aid them moving forward. He led a Nashville defense last season that ranked eighth in the league in goals allowed.

The Predators do have the opportunity to match the Flyers' offer of 14 years and $110 million. If they decide not to however, Nashville would receive four first-round picks from Philadelphia.

With the hopes of improving on a fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, focusing on defense first will be key for Philadelphia.

By bringing in Weber, the Flyers are showing they are emphasizing their weakest attribute in order to upgrade before the start of the next season.

The contract would pay Weber $56 million through the first four years of the deal. But, that would be well worth it for a three-time All-Star that has scored 99 goals and racked up 164 assists in his seven-year career.

If the Predators choose not to match the offer, the Flyers would be receiving a player that would surely move them back towards the top of the standings.

With a healthy Chris Pronger and a renewed defensive unit, the Flyers would be well on their way towards their first Stanley Cup in 37 years.