Kukla's Korner Hockey
Had the Nashville Predators not matched the Group II offer sheet tendered by Philly, the franchise would have entered the realm of irrelevancy. They have lost Ryan Suter already (to a Conference foe, no less), and had Nashville also lost Weber—their captain and chief free agent drawing card—general manager David Poile might as well have changed the team colors to red, white and blue, and re-named his club “the Blue Jackets.”
-Mark Spector of Sportsnet where you can read more on the Predators signing Shea Weber.
via the Predators website,
Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2012) – In the most important hockey transaction in franchise history, Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile and CEO Jeff Cogen announced today that the team has matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet between the Philadelphia Flyers and defenseman Shea Weber, insuring that the Predators’ captain will remain with the franchise for the next 14 years.
The decision to enter into the largest contract in franchise history was made by all parts of the organization, including ownership, hockey operations and business operations.
As the organization analyzed the overall situation and worked toward a conclusion, the decision boiled down to three questions:
- Was Shea Weber the individual that this franchise wanted to lead our team, a team that would compete for the Stanley Cup every year, for the next 14 years?
added 3:27pm, complete press release is below…
#Preds have signed Colin Wilson to a 3-year, $6 million contract which will pay him $1.5mil in 12-13, $2mil in 13-14 & $2.5mil in 14-15— KWilsonPreds (@KWilsonPreds) July 24, 2012
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
Two sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the Flyers and Nashville Predators have NOT had any trade talks since star defenseman Shea Weber signed a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet last Wednesday.
That would seem to suggest that Nashville plans to match the Flyers’ offer. Either that, or the Predators are delaying trade talks because they are trying to get the Flyers to call with a sweet proposal.///
One would think if Nashville didn’t plan to sign the offer sheet, it would be trying to orchestrate a trade in an attempt to get more than the four No. 1 picks.
Just got told by 1 NHL Exec it looks like Preds will matchWeber offer sheet. “Unless,Flyers are prepared to make a great trade”#doubtful— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) July 24, 2012
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
With four nights to contemplate keeping Shea Weber for the next 14 years, the Nashville Predators have yet to make a decision whether to match the $110 million offer sheet the Flyers tendered the star defenseman last Wednesday.
When contacted by the Daily News on Sunday, Predators CEO Jeff Cogen referred to the original statement issued by the team on Thursday.
Similarly, the Flyers have not heard anything yet as to the Predators’ intentions.
In their statement, Nashville general manager David Poile said they will “take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.”
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
An NHL source with knowledge of the situation said on Sunday night that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and his Nashville counterpart, David Poile, have talked “just once” since restricted free-agent Shea Weber signed a 14-year, $110 million contract with Philadelphia on Wednesday.
That fuels speculation that Nashville is thinking about sending Weber, arguably the league best all-around defenseman, to the Flyers in a trade.
If Nashville was going to match the offer, there would be no need for Poile to confer with Holmgren.
from Nate Rau of the Tennessean,
On the eve of NHL free agency, the chairman of the Nashville Predators’ ownership group said the team’s business operations had improved to a point where players would not be lost because of money.
Now, with the clock ticking on whether the hockey club will match a $110 million offer to captain Shea Weber from hockey heavyweight the Philadelphia Flyers, the pledge by Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran is being put to the test.
Citing more home sellouts, improved season ticket renewal rates, increased luxury suite sales and expanding corporate support, Cigarran said earlier this summer that the club’s budget for the upcoming season would be larger than ever before, and “we’re not going to lose players because of money.”
“The only way we’ll lose them is if there’s some chemistry issue, or their grandmother lives in Montreal or something, the intangibles,” Cigarran said at the time. “But they know we’re competitive, and they know we’re committed after this season, so we’re in a really good place.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday that they believe the ownership group has no choice but to breathe deep and match the offer sheet.
As for the idea that somehow Weber was indicating a desire to depart Nashville, Weber would have known that by signing the offer sheet he was likely to end up a Predator long-term.
Was it his preference to go to Philadelphia? Perhaps. But that is a moot point assuming the Predators match.
Weber knew Poile’s position going into the process, so he knew that by signing the Flyers’ offer, he was narrowing his career options to two, either of which was going to make him wildly wealthy and secure for what will amount to pretty much the rest of his career.
If Weber truly wanted out, he could have explained to Poile that he had no intention of signing a long-term deal in Nashville. He could have asked the Predators to trade him to a team prepared to offer him a long-term deal this summer before a new collective bargaining agreement comes into place that might eliminate these kinds of long-term, front-loaded deals.
That would have provided a risk for Weber, of course, hoping that such a deal could have been consummated.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
By virtue of signing a 14-year, $110 million dollar offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers, restricted free agent Shea Weber has made it clear he wants out of Nashville….
Now the Predators are faced with a huge financial gamble.
With the threat of a work stoppage looming, Weber will collect a minimum of $26 million in the next 11 months. That’s a staggering amount of money for any team to absorb with so much uncertainty. But for the Predators - largely a budget-tight team – that hit them both in the short-term and long-term,
That said, this deal might not make sense.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Philadelphia’s offer sheet isn’t exactly the same circumvention as Ilya Kovalchuk’s first contract with New Jersey, which was rejected by the NHL for violating the “spirit of the salary cap,” but it is a blatant “spiritual” circumvention nonetheless and a giant middle finger from Snider to all small-market teams.
That’s why owners such as Snider (a notorious hawk in all previous negotiations with the NHLPA) and Leipold (who got a sweetheart deal that removed him as Predators owner and gave him the keys to the much more profitable Wild) are such monstrous hypocrites when it comes to collective bargaining negotiations. They haughtily demand NHLers tighten their financial belts each and every time the league needs a new labor deal, then proceed to make a mockery of the agreement from the minute after it’s signed to the second before it expires.
Snider must know what will happen if the Predators fail to match their offer sheet for Weber. He has to be aware crestfallen Nashville fans will be justifiably soured on the way the NHL conducts its business and as a consequence will be less likely to invest their time, emotion and money in the league. He can’t be ignorant of the fact small-market teams functioning as de facto feeder systems and farcical versions of parity will be a drag on large markets and the overall profitability of the game. He also has to know if Nashville does match his offer, the financial strain on the franchise will make it next to impossible for the Preds to improve the team around Weber.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
David Poile will wear a stern and disappointed face into the boardroom of his bosses at Predators Holdings LLC, and then he will tell them what everyone already knows.
“Either we compete. Or we die.”
“We just lost Ryan Suter, and got nothing back for him,” he’ll remind his owners. “Now, we have a chance to lock up the best defenceman in the game of hockey for the rest of his career.
“We’ve told our fans we’re going to compete for a Stanley Cup. We told them our offer for Suter was competitive. We told them we’ll match any offer on Shea Weber. If we don’t match this offer sheet, our rink will be empty, our franchise irrelevant. Nobody in this town will believe anything we tell them, ever again.”
It is that critical a week in the history of the Nashville Predators. Either they compete or they roll over and become the Columbus Blue Jackets. Worse. The New York Islanders.
There isn’t any “in between room” in this decision for a franchise that has always punched above its weight. They’re either in contention, or they’re out. No middle ground.
added 1:40pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
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