Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Weber Staying In Nashville

Restricted free agency isn’t really free agency in that players rarely move onto new teams.  Even when they sign an offer sheet it is rare that they move to a new team.  As a case in point we can look at the Shea Weber offer sheet signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.  He was signed t a 14 year $110 million offer sheet that is front loaded in that he receives $14 million this year and a $13 million bonus due for next season next summer.  This makes $27 million effectively paid within the next year.  The contract is large but not unreasonable for a player as good as Weber but the costs are a test of how committed the Nashville ownership group is to winning.  The Nashville ownership group has passed and decided to match the offer.  This was necessary for the team to remain competitive after losing Ryan Suter to free agency.  Now Weber may remain a Predator for his career - unless he is traded.

There are a few teams that might not be able to afford to match such an offer sheet in Florida or Phoenix or perhaps elsewhere.  If they have a player of Weber’s calibre who becomes a restricted free agent they may be tested and they may wind up giving up the player in question.  Otherwise this is not a particularly fruitful thing for teams to do.  Signing a restricted free agent to an offer sheet merely winds up signing a player for another team.

There is a meaningful reason that teams may still tender offer sheets to restricted free agents.  If teams find themselves very near the salary cap with a restricted free agent still to sign, it is often an intelligent move.  Even if the offer sheet is matched it may force the team to let another player go.  This happened when Niklas Hjalmarsson received an offer sheet in Chicago prompting Antti Niemi to be cut lose.

The Nashville Predators ownership group was tested with the Shea Weber offer sheet.  They passed the test.  Weber is now a Nashville Predator and he may stay there for life.

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Comments

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1) Really only surprise in this issue is how many bloggers and journalists were surprised by Nashville matching this.  Most assumed the price was too steep to pay. However, what they failed to realize the price to pay to NOT match the offer would have been steaper!
2) For IF Nashville allowed their captain to walk they would in our opinion cease to exist as a legitamite NHL franchise and their days in The Music City would be numbered.
3) After losing Suter, they simply couldn’t lose Weber too.  The reverberations of this will be that this will probably be the last BIG offer sheet we will see. For if the Flyers were unable to pry Weber away with such an enormous sum(27 million in 1 year) from a low budget team, then it would appear impossible for a team to succeed in that endevour

Posted by Fauxrumors on 07/25/12 at 12:47 PM ET

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That’s not three points, faux, that’s all one point.

Posted by Garth on 07/25/12 at 04:12 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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