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Dreger: Philadelphia Flyers go nuclear, sign Shea Weber to $100-plus million offer sheet

I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting it:

Update:

Update #2: TSN is now confirming with a story as well.

Update #3:

Update #4: Oh, of course:

Update #5: Aaaaannnnddd….

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Riviera's avatar

Wow

Posted by Riviera from Phoenix on 07/19/12 at 02:58 AM ET

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It’s not an unreasonable cap hit if it’s 100m over 14 years. It’s a good tactic by Weber to get market value, it’ll be interesting to see how the Predator’s respond.

Posted by Zach Alexander on 07/19/12 at 03:04 AM ET

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Whatever happens, Nashville is officially screwed.

Say what you will about Holmgren, the dude has HUGE balls and zero complacency.

Posted by Alex from San Francisco on 07/19/12 at 03:05 AM ET

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All that talk about Weber missing out bc he was going to be a free agent next year, with capped deals, even salary etc….not so much anymore.

Posted by A II R from Los Angeles on 07/19/12 at 03:10 AM ET

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Atta Boy Homer, I think Weber made his stance if he wants to stay in Nashville.

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/19/12 at 03:11 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

As the Twitter folk have suggested, one would anticipate that the Predators would match…

Until you think about how front-loaded this might be. Are the Flyers offering the kind of cap-max, $14.06 million salary over the first couple of years, and then are they tossing off lockout-proof signing bonuses on top of that so that it’s $40 or $50 million up front? If that’s the case, the Predators might not be able to match…

And if they do, as several people who are smarter than me haven noted, Nashville can’t trade him for a year.

If you’re interested, the Flyers have to re-sign Jakub Voracek, have $7.8 million in cap space and 4 defensemen with some sort of no-move clause, Chris Pronger excluded.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/19/12 at 03:27 AM ET

awould's avatar

Wow. Things are going to start happening now. Guess the new phonebook is here….

Posted by awould on 07/19/12 at 03:33 AM ET

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Some players will be moved. Flyers are not done.

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/19/12 at 03:36 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The other interesting fact is that the Flyers can indeed exceed the cap by 10% during the offseason…So take that for what you will.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/19/12 at 03:41 AM ET

SYF's avatar

First, Tootoo to Detroit.
Then, Suter to the Wild.
Now, Weber to Philly.

Hearts are a-breakin’ in Music City.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/19/12 at 03:41 AM ET

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George Malik can you confirm this,

$26 mil = Signing Bonus + $8 mil. in July 2012 and $8-mil in July 2013

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/19/12 at 03:51 AM ET

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This is risky and it’s due to the timing of the action, not the action. Had this happened last summer, it would have been a brilliant move (I’m aware that Weber was not offer sheet eligible, just a hypothetical). But the details of the next CBA are being negotiated right this second, which is what makes this risky.

If I’m Nashville ownership, I match, then get together with the Islanders/Panthers etc. and push for revenue sharing in the CBA negotiations. My attitude would be if Philadelphia is intent on making Shea Weber wealthy, instead of rich, they can still do so without me losing him. Before 1 AM this morning, I’d have been a passenger on the Bettman train because nobody had given me any reason not to be.

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/19/12 at 04:19 AM ET

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Wonder if this is a sign of disharmony between Bettman and the Board of Governors.  Snyder is pretty clearly comfortable with the cap not rolling back, and is actually anticipating that it won’t because if it did his team would be totally screwed.  Snyder has always been one of Bettman’s closest allies and they’re not even a little bit on the same page.

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 04:23 AM ET

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Nashville doesn’t have an argument. If Weber wanted to be in Nashville why not just sign a deal in the first place? And if that’s option, why shop him on trade market?

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/19/12 at 04:27 AM ET

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Wonder if this is a sign of disharmony between Bettman and the Board of Governors.  Snyder is pretty clearly comfortable with the cap not rolling back, and is actually anticipating that it won’t because if it did his team would be totally screwed.  Snyder has always been one of Bettman’s closest allies and they’re not even a little bit on the same page.

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 02:23 AM ET

Snider doesnt run the day to day operations of the flyers no more. he just shows up to the meetings and does what he is told to say.

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/19/12 at 04:29 AM ET

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Were their other teams that presented Weber an offer sheet?  Every worst case scenario for the Wings off-season has come true.  This is the worst off-season for the Red Wings that I can recall.  The Wings appear to be frozen out of this years free agency period for 2 reasons: unwilling trade partners and / or impossible financial demands.  I mean, what the hell is going on?

Posted by beelza on 07/19/12 at 04:30 AM ET

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Snider doesnt run the day to day operations of the flyers no more. he just shows up to the meetings and does what he is told to say.

Told by whom?

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 04:30 AM ET

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The Wings appear to be frozen out of this years free agency period for 2 reasons: unwilling trade partners and / or impossible financial demands.  I mean, what the hell is going on?

You seem to be leaving out a big possibility: players don’t want to play in Detroit anymore.  With their cap space why would they have been more willing to trade NHL players than sign Weber to an offer sheet?  The only plausible explanation is that they offered Weber a contract and he wouldn’t take it.

If Wings didn’t know they’d have to offer ludicrous longterm contracts to lure free agents then the league may have passed Ken Holland by.  He’s put all his eggs in this basket, knowing for years he’d have to replace Lidstrom AND find a way to improve the team, and he’s come away with nothing.  Was he unprepared for what the market would be like or are players just not interested in Detroit and only using them for leverage in negotiations?

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 04:33 AM ET

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Snyder is pretty clearly comfortable with the cap not rolling back, and is actually anticipating that it won’t because if it did his team would be totally screwed.

I think the assumption is that any cap rollback would have a salary rollback as well.  And while I’m sure that Weber’s signing bonus money will be very substantial, I think over the length of the term of the contract, it will still even out to not drive up the overall cap hit by that much.  The result is, Weber’s contract would be a higher share of the Flyer’s cap space than under the current CBA, but not by enough to ruin the team.

Let’s take a guess and say he signs him to $115million over 14 years (which would be an $8.2 million cap hit and would be underneath the $8.41 million limit which would require him to give Nashville 4 first round picks).

After the salary rollback, let’s say that reduces it to $100million over 14 years, then his cap hit would be a $7.1 million cap hit.  If the overall team cap goes from $70 million to $55-60 million, Weber’s still a big cap hit, but he’s not going to ruin the team and their chances.  Especially not given how large of a role he’ll play.

Before anyone attacks me for my numbers, they are very quick guesses.  I didn’t actually break out guesses of the signing bonus to salary ratios for Weber, I didn’t calculate based on a proposed reduction in share of HHR.  We’ll see when the numbers come out.  I also didn’t take into account the new rule with cap hit being calculated based on the years before the player turns 40 or 41 or whatever the change was after the Kovalchuk fiasco.  Anyways, just quick guesses to show why Snyder and Holmgren aren’t likely to be screwed outright by this deal and a new CBA.

Posted by HitokiriEric from Ann Arbor, MI on 07/19/12 at 04:34 AM ET

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I think the assumption is that any cap rollback would have a salary rollback as well.

I can’t imagine the players wouldn’t go to the mat to fight that.  Don Fehr will resign before he agrees to give back 20% of the money his constituency has already earned and his opponents have already agreed to pay.

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 04:38 AM ET

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You seem to be leaving out a big possibility: players don’t want to play in Detroit anymore.  With their cap space why would they have been more willing to trade NHL players than sign Weber to an offer sheet?  The only plausible explanation is that they offered Weber a contract and he wouldn’t take it.

Another possibility is that Holland didn’t wield the offer sheet.  A lot of GMs refuse to use it as it would be “dishonorable.”  He’s probably been asking Poile about trading for Weber, but most of the news I’ve seen indicate that Holland wouldn’t be interested in using an offer sheet.

Maybe he did and Weber didn’t sign.  Or maybe he would have and Holmgren beat him to it.

Either way, I agree that the Wings are having a very disappointing free agency.  It’s competitive out there, but it sucks to see the Wings losing out so much this year.

That said, I think Nashville will match on Weber unless it would literally bankrupt them to match the signing bonuses that Holmgren baked into this deal.  They wanted Weber for life, and this is their chance to have him.  It’ll cost them more up front than they wanted, but I doubt Holmgren signed him to a cap hit that completely ruins the ability for the team to compete.

Posted by HitokiriEric from Ann Arbor, MI on 07/19/12 at 04:42 AM ET

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Another possibility is that Holland didn’t wield the offer sheet.  A lot of GMs refuse to use it as it would be “dishonorable.”  He’s probably been asking Poile about trading for Weber, but most of the news I’ve seen indicate that Holland wouldn’t be interested in using an offer sheet.

If Holland refused to use the offer sheet, given everything that’s happened to his team in the last month, wouldn’t that just be more proof that maybe the league has passed him by?

Posted by RoneFace on 07/19/12 at 04:46 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I thought we were in the business of winning.. not pillow fights over players.  Holmgren does indeed have some big balls.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/19/12 at 06:40 AM ET

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Nashville doesn’t have an argument. If Weber wanted to be in Nashville why not just sign a deal in the first place? And if that’s option, why shop him on trade market?

On the other hand, if he’s so dead set against Nashville why would he sign an offer sheet that includes the very real possibility of him being in Nashville for the next 14 years?

If Holland refused to use the offer sheet, given everything that’s happened to his team in the last month, wouldn’t that just be more proof that maybe the league has passed him by?

How does that track?  It’s not like the offer sheet is a common occurrence in today’s NHL.  And “given everything that’s happened to his team”?  Like what?  They missed out on one big free agent that they coveted, and he went to a team on a deal that was orchestrated by his friend, for more money.

And if Detroit was indeed a “big player” in a trade scenario, why would they send an offer sheet?  If anything, this points to the possibility that Philly wasn’t going to be a serious partner in trade talks, so they went the offer sheet route.

Very smart if they get him, but if not then they’ve taken Weber off the market for anyone and allowed Nashville to keep him with a reasonable cap hit.

And I don’t care what anyone says, Nashville is going to match it.

Posted by Garth on 07/19/12 at 09:02 AM ET

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Anyways, just quick guesses to show why Snyder and Holmgren aren’t likely to be screwed outright by this deal and a new CBA.

Another reason Snyder and Holmgren won’t be screwed?  Poile will match the offer.

Posted by Garth on 07/19/12 at 09:12 AM ET

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beelza how do you think Nashville fans feel right now.  Thre couldn’t be a worse off-season that what they are going through.

Posted by tbassett on 07/19/12 at 09:44 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Was Snyder afraid that Nashville might pull the trade trigger to another team?  That would be another reason for the offer sheet, since it locks down trade for a year on him. Not sure that’s the best theory. It could be, as someone said, that Philly just got tired of waiting for Poile.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/19/12 at 09:50 AM ET

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The presented to spend money to get to the cap floor anyways…why not spend it on weber.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/19/12 at 09:56 AM ET

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Sorry presented = preds… Stupid auto correct.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/19/12 at 09:57 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has released the following statement at 8 a.m. Thursday morning:

“The Philadelphia Flyers have signed restricted free agent (D) Shea Weber to an offer sheet. There will be no further comment at this time.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/19/12 at 10:05 AM ET

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Suggesting that players don’t want to play in Detroit anymore is asinine.  We swung and missed on a pair of players in Suter/Parise that were wildly overplayed and decided to take their talents to Minnesota(and spurning offers from “sexier” teams like Pittsburgh to boot).  And how is Weber signing an offer sheet with Philly an indictment of Detroit?  Noone else in free agency is worth diddly poo - so you’re going to say Detroit is no longer a free agent destination because approximately 3 good players did not come here?  Quit talking out of your ass.

Posted by Huss on 07/19/12 at 10:12 AM ET

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Was Snyder afraid that Nashville might pull the trade trigger to another team?

Had to be the case.

Posted by Garth on 07/19/12 at 10:31 AM ET

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tbassett - Nashville, I’ll concede your point.  But, when Sammy Salo tells your team thanks, but no thanks, that’s rock bottom for me.  24 million, 2 months, wide open roster positions and - Nothing.  I blame no one and make no judgments.  The Detroit Red Wings organization is among the best pro sports clubs in the world.  I am shocked and seek answers as to why many FA’s will not, have not signed with Detroit this year.

Posted by beelza on 07/19/12 at 10:31 AM ET

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I am shocked and seek answers as to why many FA’s will not, have not signed with Detroit this year.

They went hard after Suter and by all accounts it was down to Detroit and Minnesota for him.

They made a perfunctory offer to Parise but clearly he wasn’t nearly as big a target for them as Suter was.

They made an offer to Salo but Tampa Bay overpaid for him.

Let’s not pretend this is some crazy thing where Detroit has tried again and again and failed again and again to find anyone willing to “slum it” and become a Red Wing.

Three guys.  Two if you’ve read what their offer to Parise was and realize they were never really seriously even courting him.

Posted by Garth on 07/19/12 at 10:47 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I am shocked and seek answers as to why many FA’s will not, have not signed with Detroit this year.

Other teams unable to sign big name FA: Pittsburgh, LA, NY, Chicago, Vancouver, etc…

It was a small market.  Many have been left out.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/19/12 at 11:10 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

First thing—if we assume Nashville doesn’t match, the Preds are not screwed so long as they can keep their management team together with those 4 first-round picks. They have been very good with their drafts and player development. Obviously, this will hurt them for the next few years, but in the mid-term, they are still a very good organization from a hockey operations standpoint. The big question is, will they be good enough to keep butts in the seats while they rebuild. That’s where it could all crumble.

Second thing—the logic that the Wings aren’t a UFA destination or that Holland isn’t a good GM, let alone the BEST GM in the game, doesn’t follow. Teams have been massively overpaying, for almost everyone. Sami Salo and his obligatory 20 games missed due to injury is not worth that contract, especially not when guys like Kubina and Roszival are still out there. Suter, good as he is, and as much as I wanted him, is being paid like he’s one of the best two or three D in the game. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the likes of Weber, Chara, Doughty, and Keith will keep him out of the Norris running his entire career. Parise is great leader with a good skill level. But he’s being paid like he’s one of the most talented forwards in the game. Which he is not, he’s a rung below the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Datsyuk, and the Sedins. From another angle, you look at Parise and Semin and see two players with nearly identical skill levels. Semin wants $10 million over two years. Is a reputation for being a primadonna really all it takes to determine the difference between a $100 million player and a $10 million one? The rates being paid are INSANE. The Wings made one serious run at Suter, and by all accounts, were one of the final two on his list. It happens.

Third thing—are we forgetting that the labor negotiations exist, or further, that they’re off to a terrible start? The realistic possibilities I see are:

- The NHL comes to its senses and considers modifications to revenue sharing, possibly with a SLIGHT decrease in the players’ share, and the cap stays about where it is and everything is good.

- The NHL keeps its hard line and wins a sizable takeback from the players’ share. This means the cap shrinks, which means the owners will then start infighting about a solution for them to all get cap compliant. From here, we hit the ultimate shit storm. The big market teams won’t want to have to just dump talent, so they’ll argue for some combination of amnesty buyouts to shed bad contracts and a grandfather rule to where they can keep their Suters/Parises via some mechanism like a temporary luxury tax. The small market teams will want to see their actual player costs shrink immediately, and they’ll want a salary rollback. The players will not want to accept a salary rollback yet again. Now we are in lockout city.

Point of this is, is that a climate where you want to be throwing the type of money Tampa did at Sami freakin’ Salo, or throwing out an offer sheet for Weber that will cost you four critical picks that your team will NEED to rebuild if the new CBA does force to shed salary? Also consider that those four first-rounders will be worth soooooo much more than they are today if rookie contract structures are changed to allow more years of team control.

For my thinking, the SMART move this offseason was to do exactly what the Wings did. Go hard after the best player at the position you need the most (Suter on D). Take a legitimate but somewhat half-hearted shot at the next best player on the market (Parise). Then, given the lack of other top-end talent in the market, bide your time and don’t over pay for the Sami Salos of the world.

It sucks we didn’t get Suter, but by all accounts, it sounds like the Wings (and others) may have actually offered a little more money than the Wild, but once he knew Parise’s intentions, it changed the decision making process. Being in Minny does put him a little closer to home and it does put him in a more quiet market, both things it was clear he wanted. Not much of a surprise that it was down to Minny and Detroit, and at that point when you’re both offering $100 million, it’s hard to do much more.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/19/12 at 11:17 AM ET

jayskate's avatar

Don’t want to speculate too much, but if Holmgren decided to send the offer sheet to prevent a trade to another team. I can’t help but think that team would have to be Pittsburgh, who have plenty of assets. ” If we can’t trade for him, he’s not going to Pittsburgh”

Posted by jayskate from Newfoundland, Canada on 07/19/12 at 11:59 AM ET

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Do we know for sure if it is a 4 first rounder deal or 2 first rounder deal? What is the actual annual cap hit? 4 first rounders especially at the higher cost, you consider not matching. Two first rounders (probably very late in the first), you may have to match.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 07/19/12 at 12:07 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I’m a bit foggy on the rules here. Does the offer sheet prevent a trade entirely now, or can the Preds still trade his rights in this 7-day period before they have to make a decision? And if they can trade, is the new team under the same match or lose him to the offer sheet stipulation?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/19/12 at 12:08 PM ET

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I know if the preds match, after the seven day period he cannot be traded for a year, but what happens in that seven day period is another wrinkle.

To answer my own previous question, the way the deal is structured it would be 4 first rounders.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 07/19/12 at 12:17 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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