NHL Free Agency: Red Wings Missing on Weber Is Bigger Whiff Than Suter Miss

Rob KirkCorrespondent IIJuly 19, 2012

It would be nice to see Mr. Weber do this to somebody else.   photo: cbsnews.com
It would be nice to see Mr. Weber do this to somebody else. photo: cbsnews.com

Don't you hate when people say "I told you so?" Well as much as I would love to tell you that I never said Shea Weber was there for the taking, I can't. So hate anyway. 

The Flyers quite literally made an offer to the big, mean defenseman that he couldn't, shouldn't and probably didn't want to refuse. He could potentially be anchoring the defense of the Eastern Conference Champions come next May. Hate to bring it up again, but he would have looked great in red.

While the Red Wings were worrying about Kyle Quincey going to arbitration, the Flyers could have locked up the best defenseman (arguably) in the league. Hmmmm...Quincey or Weber...uh, yeah.

Now of course Nashville can match the offer, reported to be 14-years at over $100 million dollars (pinky to lip), but will they? The glass half empty party will look at the deal and worry about the last half as Weber's rugged style of play may leave him susceptible to injury in his advancing years.

The glass half full party sees a front-loaded contract full of bonuses, and a moderate cap hit as the salary cap will obviously increase with each year in the deal. They will also see one of the biggest, baddest dudes on the ice pile-drive 100 mph shots at somebody else's goalie and defense.

Detractors will point out that an offer sheet forfeits draft picks. Promoters will say that there won't be a 26-year-old 6'4" 235-pound defenseman available in the draft in the next four years anyway.

Ken Holland missed out on Weber, big time. He made it clear that he wasn't happy with the Nashville brass after they failed to keep his tag-team partner Ryan Suter in Music City. The Flyers' offer is something that the Red Wings could have and should have put on the table for Weber and his agent.

The only silver lining for Hockeytown is that Detroit won't be seeing him in Nashville six times a year. If Hank Zetterberg is worried about getting "turnbuckled" again, it won't be until the Stanley Cup Finals.

A sincere apology for being "that guy," but Weber would have elevated the Red Wings in every area:Power play, defense (duh), snarl, leadership and grit. I hear Weber also makes a mean crab dip, perfect for holiday parties.

I'm not sure about Shea Weber's culinary skills, but I do know that he is not the type of player that is available very often. I'm still waiting for the aggressive moves Mr. Holland. It seems that Detroit keeps showing up late to the party. Let's hope there's a rabbit left in that Red Wings hat.