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Yesterday, no news was bigger than the offer sheet signed by Predators’ defenseman Shea Weber.
Numerous sources, beginning with TSN's Darren Dreger and including several Bleacher Report writers, reported around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning that Nashville’s restricted free agent d-man signed an offer sheet good for 14 years and $110 million.
Weber, who is a conceivable replacement for the fallen Chris Pronger, will learn within seven days whether or not the Predators are willing to match the contract or lose Weber to the Flyers in exchange for Philly’s next four first-round picks in the draft.
If the Predators match the contract, they will owe Weber a reported $27 million in salary and bonuses, a steep price for a low-earning franchise. Furthermore, Weber will not be able to be traded for one calendar year.
The move is an example of Paul Holmgren’s brilliance comparable to his Peter Forsberg trade in 2007, when he sent the aging forward to Nashville in exchange for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and Nashville’s first-round pick, only to trade back the pick for the rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen.
In the Weber scenario, Holmgren has ensured that Weber will either be a Flyer or a Predator next season, eliminating all competition for at least a year and giving his own team an upper hand in acquiring the runner-up for the Norris Trophy.