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Weber Staying In Nashville

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?

continued

added 3:27pm, complete press release is below…

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?

- Would matching the offer sheet be in the best long-term interest of the team and organization?

- Would a decision not to match the offer sheet send a negative message to current Predators players and other NHL organizations, a message that the Predators would only go so far to protect its best players and be pushed around by teams with “deep pockets?”

The answer to each of the above questions is clearly “yes.” The organization spent the last several days analyzing all aspects of the offer sheet, from economic implications to the impact on the team hockey operations puts on the ice.

Most importantly was the reaction to whatever decision the organization reached and the impact it would have on our fans, sponsors and marketing partners. We wanted to insure that our decision reflected not just the feelings of these groups but also conveys a strong message to them that our actions would speak for us and demonstrate our commitment to them. It was absolutely essential that they understand and believe that we are doing everything possible to ice a Stanley Cup competing team each and every season.

With this decision behind us, we continue to focus on our mission:  Develop Bridgestone Arena into the number one sports and entertainment facility in North America with a Stanley Cup-winning Nashville Predators team as the centerpiece. With Shea Weber in the fold for the next 14 years, we are closer to this mission, and will continue to contend for the Stanley Cup on an annual basis.

Cigarran, Poile and Cogen will be available for a media conference tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT on the Bridgestone Arena concourse to discuss the organization’s decision.

There will be no further comment from the Predators until Wednesday’s media conference.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

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tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Poile could have set up the Preds for years

They may not have a ring in their first fifteen years, but this is the last GM who needs any advice.
Who gives a shxt about how much money they spend (or lose)?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/24/12 at 10:33 PM ET

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I’ll give credit to homer for trying but as a flyers fan, this team is screwed when the lockout is over. Their defense has holes and goaltender is living in different world. It’s pointless at this point trading young talent on the roster and I can’t see the flyers players producing same numbers as last year.

Homer could of gotten weber if didn’t offer preds low balls offers like Mez,read, 1st and (2) 2nds. BTW, when did the Schenn bros turn into the Saal Bros?

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/24/12 at 10:39 PM ET

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It means that they still have one of the best defensemen in the league.
It means they’re keeping a cornerstone of their franchise.
It means they aren’t throwing in the towel on the immediate future.

What future?  The Preds are now Weber and Rinne.  That’s it.  What future, exactly, was Nashville protecting… other than Poile’s?

Yeah, they lost one big piece, but they still have one of the best defensemen in the world, and they still have a playoff team.

Funny, when Detroit ‘lost’ Lidstrom it was the end of the world for them because they didn’t land a replacement.  Right?

So it marks them as a team willing to spend money?

Does it?  Right now Nashville is the 7th cheapest team in the NHL.  And this is after signing Weber.  They spent their money already.  Rinne and Weber are it, now.  Them and 3-4 mil max guys.  Wee!

If they don’t match the offer it’s catastrophic for the team, for the fanbase, for the PR.
If they don’t match it they’re about $9M under the cap and they need three defensemen, so what do they do?  Tell the fanbase they can’t afford Weber and then go out and overpay for some middling talent that adds up to what Weber was going to make?  Yeah, doesn’t that look great?

You’re missing the point, Garth.  The point is, Poile should have moved Weber and Suter for truckloads much earlier.  Suter’s been dodging a contract for a YEAR now.  Weber went to arbitration.  Duh.  Now he’s screwed because he created the environment where he could be screwed.  First by Suter and then by Philly.

A year ago he could have easily moved Suter for at least 2 significant, top-half of the roster NHL players, at least two prospects and at least 1 big time pick, sending back a few parts here and there in the exchange.  This year he could have moved Weber for as much or more.

Then, going into this season, you have those 4 new NHL assets to market, those 4 prospects to start getting the fans ready to see, and a trove of picks that you can either keep or use in subsequent trades.

And it would have cost him what, exactly?  Maybe a first round playoff victory (since a Suter-less team is still playoff worthy according to you)?  Wee!

If have no doubt the PR played a huge role in this decision… which is a leading indicator that it’s a stupid long term decision.  When teams start making moves to ‘look good’ instead of trying to actually run a successful franchise, that’s when disasters happen.

The 2012 Predators are on the path the 2009 Jackets were.  You can see this coming from a mile away.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/24/12 at 11:16 PM ET

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I hate having been right about this.

But maybe next time The Tennessean writes an article about how poor the Predators are while at the same time saying that the organization won’t even open their books to the city they’re asking $6M in subsidies from, people will take that big ol’ grain of salt out of storage and give it some consideration.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/24/12 at 03:54 PM ET

Not sure how you can equate the fact the Flyers extorted the upfront payment out of Nashville, into an issue about their financial responsibility. Sometimes to be credible with your fan base you have to do things that make no economic sense. This only confirms the current CBA is in need of adjustment to prevent this type of BS from happening to other small market teams. Kudos to Nashville for doing the right thing for their fans.

Posted by timbits on 07/24/12 at 11:18 PM ET

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Now he’s screwed

He’s not screwed though.

He lost one defenseman.

He still has the one who is a multiple-time runner-up for the Norris.

A year ago he could have easily moved Suter for at least 2 significant, top-half of the roster NHL players, at least two prospects and at least 1 big time pick

Do you mean like the ones that Howson got for Nash?  Or does Poile get more for Suter because he’s on an expiring contract?

The 2012 Predators are on the path the 2009 Jackets were. 

Except that they have a perennial Norris contender anchoring the blue line, and after a couple years he’s a guy on a really attractive long-term deal if they decide to move him then.

Does it?

Plainly, f*cking YES it does.  They have a guy on a $110 MILLION contract.

Please enlighten how spending a lot of money doesn’t show that they’re willing to spend money.

Funny, when Detroit ‘lost’ Lidstrom it was the end of the world for them because they didn’t land a replacement.

Wow, how thick are you?  Detroit lost Lidstrom AND Stuart.  AND they lost Rafalski last year and didn’t replace him.  The lost THREE of their top four in one calendar year and none of them have been replaced.  Lidstrom was their best defenseman and he’s gone.  Weber was Nashville’s best defenseman and, correct me if I’m wrong, he’s still a Nashville Predator, right?

So yeah, Detroit losing Rafalski, Lidstrom and Stuart in one calendar year is different from Nashville losing Suter one year and locking up their perennial Norris contender into a long-term deal.  Do you see the difference between losing a Norris winner for good and signing one of the best defenseman in the league to a long-term contract?  It’s a subtle difference, I’ll admit, but a difference nonetheless.

Nashville still has -once more for the cheap seats- a perennial Norris contender.

The Preds are now Weber and Rinne.

And before they were Weber, Suter and Rinne.  They lost one of three separate big pieces.  Weber and Rinne are franchise players on any team in the league, so Nashville still has two franchise players.  And they’re both defensive franchise players.  And they’re in a system that emphasizes defense.  And they’ve got an excellent development system.

Boy, it sure sucks to be them more than it does to be any other team in the league.

Posted by Garth on 07/24/12 at 11:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

A year ago he could have easily moved Suter for at least 2 significant, top-half of the roster NHL players, at least two prospects and at least 1 big time pick

So one year ago, Nashville could have gotten more for Suter with one year until free agency than Columbus got for Nash?

I don’t think so.

Posted by timbits on 07/24/12 at 10:18 PM ET

I’m not sure how you can equate a team committing $110M to a player over 14 years with a huge portion of that coming in the front-end of the contract with a team that couldn’t afford to have done that.

The Nashville Predators aren’t as poor as they want you to believe they are. Neither are the Washington Capitals or the Chicago Blackhawks.  People believe the Preds are one step away from destitute because they want to believe that. The Predators want people to believe that so the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee will continue pumping money their way despite the team refusing to open their books even to them.

They’re not among the super-rich franchises and I’m sure they aren’t happy about being forced to spend this amount of money, but the beggar act is done.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/24/12 at 11:46 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Nashville is the 7th cheapest team in the NHL

But they ain’t poor.  They just operate on a budget.  Their thirteen investors can increase that budget whenever they want.  They are running it as a business, but they could be running it as money-burning hobby like most owners do.  These owners are rich enough.

The Preds are now Weber and Rinne.

I actually think that Kostitsyn and Erat are pretty high end players.  Ellis, Wilson and Smith are high-end prospects.
They have been very successful in the league’s toughest division.  Without looking it up, very few teams have made the playoffs as many years in a row as them.
There is no chance that Suter was the secret ingredient.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/25/12 at 12:12 AM ET

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They’re not among the super-rich franchises and I’m sure they aren’t happy about being forced to spend this amount of money, but the beggar act is done.

How is the beggar act done? I am pretty certain they had to do a cash call from the owners to bail out the team to make the upfront payment. That isn’t the same thing as saying the franchise is solvent. At best Nashville has broken even the past 2 years, before that it is all losses.

Posted by timbits on 07/25/12 at 12:12 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

How is the beggar act done? I am pretty certain they had to do a cash call from the owners to bail out the team to make the upfront payment. That isn’t the same thing as saying the franchise is solvent. At best Nashville has broken even the past 2 years, before that it is all losses.

Breaking even while your franchise is increasing in value is making a profit. That’s assuming that this is what’s actually going on.

In 2011 (according to the Forbes numbers), the Washington Capitals claimed to have operated at exactly the same loss as the Predators. Are they really losing money?  Do you believe for a second that the Caps have operated at a $28.4M total loss for the last 4 seasons? The Preds’ numbers indicate they’ve lost $19.7M in the same time frame.

Further, according to those numbers, the Caps’ revenues are $12M higher, but their player expenses have been $13M higher as well.

Why is it so hard to believe that Nashville isn’t struggling as much as The Tennessean would lead you to believe?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/12 at 12:25 AM ET

Primis's avatar

So…. NAS bought themselves one more year of Weber’s services before he demands a trade out?

Good for them?

I don’t see that anything has changed.  In this case, NAS just is once again delaying the inevitable.  We just now have to wait another year for the next act in the drama to take place.

Posted by Primis on 07/25/12 at 01:57 AM ET

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He’s not screwed though

Well, he just lost Suter (for nothing), he now has 110 mil tied up in one guy, he doesn’t have any of the future assets he could have had were he a bit more proactive, the team this year is worse than the team last year, and the Preds haven’t ever gotten out of the second round in any event anyway.

Do you mean like the ones that Howson got for Nash?  Or does Poile get more for Suter because he’s on an expiring contract?

Bingo.  Cost-Value.  Nash at 7.8 mil a year for 6 is worth less than Nash at 5 per for 5.

Plainly, f*cking YES it does.  They have a guy on a $110 MILLION contract.

Please enlighten how spending a lot of money doesn’t show that they’re willing to spend money.

There are only 6 teams in the NHL spending less than the Predators.  So, if a team spends a whole lot on a couple guys… like, say, a defenseman and a goalie in a wholly drawn from thin air comparison, yet spends rather less at all the other positions… that means the team isn’t really spending a lot of money, en toto.

Wow, how thick are you?

Less so than you, apparently.  IIRC, Raffy wasn’t exactly a guy well loved around here, and Stuart’s nothing to write home about either.

That said, Detroit lost guys because they retired in two cases, and had legit family concerns in the third.  They didn’t lose guys because they couldn’t pay them, or because they played stupid and tried to underpay them.

The last guy comparable to what Nashville just went through with Weber is what Detroit went through with Fedorov back in the day.  And I don’t see an Yzerman and a Lidstrom over in Nashville to surround Weber.

Nashville still has -once more for the cheap seats- a perennial Norris contender.

Wow.  So, they have one whole elite skater?  Hey, neat!  Why, that ought to just pave the teams way to future success.  Hey, wait a second… maybe it won’t, considering that even with that guy and Suter they didn’t get anywhere for years.  Hmm.  If only there was some way Poile could have, you know, gotten something for Suter rather than losing him for nothing.

Darn.

Boy, it sure sucks to be them more than it does to be any other team in the league.

You appear to have gotten lost in the weeds somewhere, Garth.  Do you recall a moment where I called Nashville the worst team in the league?  No?  Ah.

What I have said, however, is that Poile has handled the Weber and Suter situations stupidly, and because he handled them stupidly he found himself in a situation where he had to allow another team to dictate contract terms to him, so now he has the pleasure of having a player who everybody knows signed to play for another team signed to a monster deal.

That’s the guy the team has to build their marketing campaign around, now.  Wee!

As things stand right now Nashville is set up to be a perennial 6-10 seed in the West.  Hoo.  Ray.  I’m sure two or three more years of playing 26 minutes a night 75+ games a year for a team clawing to make the playoffs every season will just do wonders for Weber’s motivation.

Don’t we see this exact situation blow up every single time it happens?  Kovalchuk and Heatley couldn’t wait to get out of Atlanta.  Nash’s situation in Columbus was a disaster.  Every time we see one or two elite guys on a team, those guys are desperate to get out of those situations and on to real teams that they don’t have to kill themselves on just to lose in 6 every 1st round.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/25/12 at 02:53 AM ET

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What I have said, however, is that Poile has handled the Weber and Suter situations stupidly

I don’t see he had any choice on Weber. He wasn’t able to resign him earlier. Weber wanted to see committment to building a winner. So they went out and tried to do that last year. Suter refused to resign before becoming UFA. In hindsight they should have traded him. But then again, NJ should have traded Parise.  Both GM’s gambled they could pursuade these guys to stay. The lesson for all GM’s is you MUST assume that all star UFA’s will leave! I find it hard to criticize a GM that has consistently gotten the most out of the least talent for years. Nashville has been the best run low budget organization in hockey, without question. I will cut them some slack on Suter.

Posted by timbits on 07/25/12 at 10:22 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

HD, is winning a cup the only success?
Nashville is good team.  There isn’t a team in the league that stands on one player.
Besides, credibility matters.  He has to fill the seats.
I see what you mean about elite players without help, but it is a huge assumption to say that Weber doesn’t want to play thirty minutes a night and be an epic warrior.
Besides, Kovalchuk wanted out for the cash.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/25/12 at 11:10 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

There are only 6 teams in the NHL spending less than the Predators.

Let’s look at some of the teams spending “more” than the Predators.

Nashville Predators Cap Hit: $53,711,310
Nashville Predators Actual Spending: $54,785,000

Florida Panthers Cap Hit: $53,740.333
Actual Spending: $51,217,880

Colorado Cap Hit: $54,058,333
Actual Spending: $54,058,333

Anaheim Cap Hit: $54,064,167
Actual Spending: $53,697,500

Columbus Cap Hit: $57,600,476
Actual Spending: $50,235,000

(My personal favorite) - Edmonton Cap Hit: $62,933,333
Actual Spending: $51,437,500

Of course we’ve got a fair number of asterisks to throw around in there.  The biggest one is the $11M in bonuses on entry-level contracts in Edmonton. I’d say confidently that a majority of those will get paid. I’d say with 98% confidence that at the end of the year, Edmonton will have spent more actual dollars than Nashville.

The other thing to factor in is that Nashville has a 21-man roster and only 5 D-men right now. Of the teams mentioned, Anaheim only has 20 guys on their roster right now (3 forward spots). Everybody else has 22 or 23. Those numbers will change, but I’m betting that for actual spending, Nashville will be around the middle of the league rather than the bottom.

Oh, and for funsies.

Washington Capitals Cap Hit: $59,627,905
Actual Salary: $55,210,000 (could be increased by a whopping $240,000 with bonuses)

So Washington, with a 23-man roster is committed to spending $425,000 more than Nashville right now with a 21-man roster, yet most people believe Nashville is this close to folding while the Capitals are lying about their finances.  Sound about right?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/12 at 11:58 AM ET

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The Nashville Predators aren’t as poor as they want you to believe they are. Neither are the Washington Capitals or the Chicago Blackhawks.  People believe the Preds are one step away from destitute because they want to believe that. The Predators want people to believe that so the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee will continue pumping money their way despite the team refusing to open their books even to them.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/24/12 at 10:46 PM ET

You can throw the Panthers (or, more specifically, Sunrise Sports and Exhibition Authority) in with the Preds Caps and Blackhawks as faux-broke. The Panthers, themselves, don’t make money, but Sunrise makes money hand over fist by owning the Panthers (owning the Panthers and keeping them in Florida gives Sunrise control of all revenues generated in the 3rd or 4th most profitable venue of its type on Earth). It would be like if a farm sold its carrots at a loss, but made 50 times that loss back with natural gas wells and said they needed farm subsidies to stay afloat. There’s a reason Florida could have empty arenas for about a decade (was better this year) and there was nary a mention of the team being shopped to a different market. Yormark would be a moron to let a goldmine like that go.

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/25/12 at 02:41 PM ET

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