Weber is perhaps the most valuable player in Predators' history, and if the team can’t get him signed by August 2, an arbitrator will be forced to decide how much money he’s worth.
One would think the Predators are trying everything they can to avoid this process and sign Weber to a contract before this date for a couple of reasons.
First of all, sitting your captain and best player in front of an arbitrator to point out all the real and perceived weaknesses in his game isn’t a very savvy management move.
Secondly, if Weber goes to arbitration, the longest term that an arbitrator can award a player is two years. Surely, the Predators want to lock up their franchise defenseman for much longer than that and avoid the possibility of him becoming an unrestricted free agent in a couple of years.
But regardless of what happens in the next few days, Shea Weber will be paid and he will be paid handsomely. But the question is how handsomely?
Nashville has filled out the majority of their roster and still needs to spend close to $7 million just to reach the salary cap floor. But they could also sign another player or two and their ownership group is notoriously stingy when it comes to the team payroll. In fact, this might be the main reason why Weber and his agent may take this process all the way to arbitration.
The best way to solve how much money Shea Weber will likely receive is to compare him to similar cases from similar players who are the same place in their careers.
Let’s look at 10 such players who I feel are comparable to Shea Weber.