Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Boruk at CSN Philly on June 20th,
Here are eight reasons I believe the Flyers should submit an offer sheet for Predators defenseman Shea Weber:
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren has to proceed as if Chris Pronger won’t return. If he does, and it doesn’t appear anytime soon, you simply cross that bridge when you come to it and make the appropriate moves to clear the cap space to work him back onto the active roster. Secondly, Kimmo Timonen will be entering the final season of his 6-year contract and there will be a considerable amount of wear-and-tear on his 38-year-old treads. On-going back issues could force Timonen to retire after the 2012-13 season.
Are you willing to place your faith in Ilya Bryzgalov without one of the league’s elite defensemen in front of him?
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province at the Calgary Herald,
Seriously, how can he be surprised? Suter had been on his way to unrestricted free agency for well more than a year and had rebuffed every previous attempt the Preds had made to re-sign him. The newspapers for more than two months were absolutely full of stories speculating whether it would be Detroit or Pittsburgh or any other team which would land the services of Suter. The Red Wings had more than $20 million US cap space at the time and had just lost Nick Lidstrom.
How in the world could Poile have been ‘surprised’ when shortly after July 1, Suter left the Predators? Had he been in one of those mountain caves in Pakistan trying to stay away from drone attacks? Had he been in a comma for more than a year?
Nobody was surprised. And to be perfectly blunt, it doesn’t matter what Suter or Suter’s agent had been telling them. If he’s not signed coming up to the deadline, you’re in deep doo-doo pal! You’ve been a general manager in this league for 30 years and seen this happen like clockwork every season since free agency existed. What could possibly have come as a surprise?
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Shea Weber is the player for whom you pay the bounty the Blue Jackets are demanding but won’t get in exchange for Rick Nash.
Weber is not yet 27 and universally regarded as a franchise player who plays the right defense position, the most difficult in the league to fill — and for whom any team’s list of untouchables is slashed to the bare minimum.
Any suggestion the Predators’ Group II free agent would be susceptible to a one-year offer sheet is misguided. Signing a one-year deal of any kind (including his $7.5 million qualifier) would make Weber ineligible for a multi-year extension until Jan. 1, when a new NHL collective bargaining agreement will be in place that may include restrictions on contract length and front-loading that could cost the defenseman millions.
There are exactly two options for Weber and for the Predators: either a front-loaded 14-year contract with the Predators that, following the Kovalchuk Amendment’s bright line, would take Weber through his 40-year-old, 2025-26 season; or a trade to a team that would be able to sign Weber to such a contract.
continue for more on Weber and specifically how the Rangers could use his services…
“I don’t want to mislead you. Ryan Suter is a great hockey player. We wanted him on our team, and we’re disappointed he chose to go in a different direction. “It’s not the death knell to the Nashville Predators. It challenges us.”
“I’ve seen ‘spending and acquiring’ win. I’ve seen ‘spending and acquiring’ not win. I’ve seen ‘shed — low payroll’ and pretty good success. The conclusion there is there’s no magic formula, and it has been proven time and time again. It’s not what you spend, it’s how you spend.”
Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen. More from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean.
from Kevin Allen at Rink Rap,
It certainly isn’t difficult to determine what to offer Weber: It’s the Sidney Crosby contract of $104.4 million over 12 years.
We know the Predators can go that high, because they were at least in the neighborhood in their bidding for Ryan Suter.
If the Predators make that offer, they are telling Weber they value him as much the Penguins value Crosby. And that’s the truth. They would be paying him more than Ryan Suter received when he left the Predators to sign with the Minnesota Wild this week. And that’s important. That offer would also telling their fans that the Predators are willing to do whatever it takes to build a winning organization
That level of offer essentially forces both sides to lay all of their cards on the table. If Weber doesn’t accept that offer now, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to re-sign in Nashville.
If he turns down the offer, Poile doesn’t have to guess whether Weber is going to stay. He will know it’s time to trade him and get players back that will put the franchise back on the road to recovery from the loss of Suter and Weber.
from David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper,
Even before Suter and Parise spurned them, the Predators had more money available under the current 2012-13 salary cap, which is subject to change pending the outcome of negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement, than any other NHL team. Currently they are roughly $15 million shy of the minimum teams are required to spend on salaries and a little more than $30 million away from the cap.
That means there are numerous options team officials can explore through trades or free agency between now and the start of the season.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s a little bit of a new challenge,” coach Barry Trotz said about Suter’s decision. “You never know. What we think is a setback today may open the door to something else.”
It is no secret they want to direct a significant chunk of that money — as soon as possible — to captain Shea Weber as part of a long-term deal. If Weber, currently a restricted free agent, declines a long-term offer he is in position to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
And so, now the hockey world eyeballs Shea Weber and wonders what the big guy will do.
My ESPN The Magazine colleague Craig Custance did a great job breaking that down yesterday. A restricted free agent, the Nashville Predators captain will be a major story line all summer long regardless of his decision in the wake of Ryan Suter’s departure.
“He’s still in disbelief,” Kevin Epp, one of Weber’s agents at Titan Sports Management, told ESPN.com Thursday. “They were so close this year in terms of the team’s chances. They really had a shot. Shea believed there was a good chance that Ryan would stay there. So, right now, Shea is still processing this news.”
At this point, anything remains possible. Weber could come conclude that the Predators are still a contender, especially depending what they do to replace Suter, and maybe Weber does sign a long-term deal this summer.
Or, after further pondering, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist might instead come to the realization that it’s time to move and turn down any long-term offers from the Preds. That, of course, would likely force Nashville’s hand on a trade.
continued plus other NHL names in the news…
from Craig Custance of ESPN Insider,
As of Monday, Weber hadn’t had any serious conversations on a possible offer sheet nor has the Weber camp aggressively sought any out. He likes Nashville and hasn’t been planning an exit strategy.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t internal concern in the Nashville organization that an offer sheet is a possibility.
“It’s the nature of our business,” said one Nashville source. “These are the rules designed into our current system.”
There’s an assumption that the Predators would match any offer sheet given to their captain, but one source suggested that a one-year deal worth something close to the maximum like $13-14 million might handcuff Nashville.
“If they match, they can’t trade him,” he pointed out.
more (paid subscription)
from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,
“I think disappointment would not adequately describe the word I would like to choose,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Disappointed and little surprised based on all the conversations we’ve had.”
Poile said the Predators were not given last chance to match the Wild’s reported offer of 13 years at $98 million.
“We asked him what the reason was and he said it was for family reasons,” Poile said.
“Our attention turns to our captain Shea Weber and the player we want to build our franchise around and see if we can talk to he and his representative about a longer term contract with the Predators,” Poile said.
via Kevin Allen tweet,
Chris Mason will be Pekka rinne’s backup in Nashville. One year deal for $1.25 million plus bonuses.
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