Shea Weber: Why the Lack of a No-Trade Clause Means Flyers Are in His Future

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Shea Weber: Why the Lack of a No-Trade Clause Means Flyers Are in His Future
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After failing to bring Shea Weber into the fold in mid-July, could the Nashville Predators' hard-shooting defenseman wear a Philadelphia Flyers jersey in the not-too-distant future?

It's possible. According to a report in The Tennessean, the contract that Weber agreed to does not include a no-trade or a no-movement clause.

Beat writer Josh Cooper quoted Weber's agent, Jarrett Bousquet, as saying that the contract has been signed. The new deal would keep the Predators defenseman in Nashville for a full season, but the team could choose to trade him after a full season.

The Flyers signed Weber to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet in mid-July and the Preds shocked the hockey world by matching the offer sheet later that month.

It was expected that the Preds would pass on matching the offer because of financial issues. The Predators had lost defenseman Ryan Suter when he signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Wild in early July.

General manager David Poile thought he was going to have an opportunity to keep Suter, an unrestricted free agent, in the fold. Poile claims he was shocked when Suter signed with the Wild because he had spoken with the player on several occasions about staying with the Predators.

If they Predators had not matched the offer for Weber and he had also left, it would have been devastating for the small-market team that has carved out a strong following for itself in the unlikely Nashville market.

While there are still financial issues for the Predators, they could get a substantial return for Weber if they decide to trade him a year from now.

The Flyers are in need of a No. 1 defenseman and it seems likely that they would remain quite interested in acquiring his services.

Chris Pronger missed the majority of the 2011-12 season due to concussion-related problems and there is no timetable for his return to the team (source: SportsOverdose.com).

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Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren knows his team must find a player who can fill Pronger's role if it wants to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Weber is one of the top defensemen in the league. He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy this year—it was won by Ottawa's Erik Karlsson—and his explosive shot may be the best weapon in the league from the blue line.

(Boston's Zdeno Chara regularly edges Weber in the hardest-shot contest during the All-Star weekend, but Weber gets his shot away faster and is more accurate with it in game competition.)

Weber is also a hard-hitting and physical defenseman who is not afraid to mix it up with opponents.

By matching the offer sheet, the Preds can prove to potential season-ticket buyers that they plan to remain in contention for a Western Conference playoff spot.

However, if the team's financial issues get worse, the Predators could seek Weber's permission to trade him sooner rather than later.

That won't make Predators fans happy, but it could do wonders for Flyers supporters.

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