Shea Weber: Nashville Predators Wise to Match Philadelphia's Monster Offer

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIJuly 24, 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

The Nashville Predators have matched the Philadelphia Flyers’ gigantic offer sheet in order to keep Shea Weber

The Flyers offered the all-star blueliner a 14-year, $110 million contract on July 19, as reported by TSN. The Predators announced today on their website that the team matched the deal, calling it the “most important hockey transaction in franchise history.”

The team has never signed a player to a contract of this magnitude. Weber’s contract is the second largest in NHL history in terms of total money, trailing only Alexander Overchkin’s 13-year, $124 million deal, as noted by the Tennessean.

Weber is worth every dollar. He has established himself as one of the premier defensemen in hockey, and is just 26 years old. He is a three-time all-star and was selected to the first All-Star team in both of the last two seasons.

He is the Predator’s captain, and his presence has helped the team become a contender. Nashville finished with 104 points last season—fifth-best in the league.

Fellow defenseman Ryan Suter left the team in free agency for the Minnesota Wild. If Nashville failed to retain Weber, they would have given up the core of the perennial playoff team. 

Weber is a complete player. At 6’4” and 234 pounds, he establishes a physical presence on the ice. He also contributes to the offense and has recorded at least 40 points in each of the last four seasons. 

He is also a consummate teammate and leader—which is why the Predators felt comfortable making him a captain when he was just 24 years old.

Weber is the type of player to build a franchise around. That is exactly what the Predators have done by keeping him under contract through the 2025-26 season.

Nashville has the talent to compete for a playoff spot every season, and with another impact player, the team could make a deep postseason run.

The team’s decision to match the offer will keep the franchise’s cornerstone in place for over a decade, and the stability from that will be invaluable. The Predators made the right move, and it will benefit them in both the present and the future.