Hockey Central: Ask the Insiders is Fan Fuel’s new blog where fans get to pick the topics. This week, Ken 12 asks the Insiders: Shea Weber seems to be struggling mightily so far this season. Do you think it’s just “one of those things” or might he be unhappy that the Predators matched the offer sheet from the Flyers? What does he need to do to get it going?
BRIAN LAWTON: No absolutely not. Shea Weber loves Nashville.
If Shea had truly wanted to leave Nashville then he along with guidance from his agent would have signed a one-year free agent offer sheet with Philly in the $8-10 million range. An amount Philly could have still managed under the cap short term.
The one-year offer would have guaranteed that Nashville would have lost Shea for nothing at the end of the season as he was an impending UFA. As Shea and his agent would have known, Nashville would have been prohibited under the last CBA from signing and trading Shea for one full year which would have taken him to UFA status. Shea had a chance to guarantee his freedom and get paid if he truly wanted to and he chose not to!
Ultimately, Shea elected to sign a 14 year offer sheet which he knew would offer Nashville an opportunity to match it and keep him in Nashville for a very long time. The front loaded money is painful for a smaller market team to absorb but it is really just a matter of financing the upfront payments.