In less than a week, current Predators captain Shea Weber just might become a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers offered Weber a staggering 14 year, $100M+ contract (certain outlets report $110M or more), which Weber agreed to. The Predators have seven days to match the number and retain Shea Weber. If they elect not to, Weber will become a Philadelphia Flyer likely for the remainder of his career. The Predators would receive Phiadelphia’s first round draft picks from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
This is the exact circumstance that occurred in 2007 when the Oilers offered Thomas Vanek a seven year, $52M deal. The Sabres matched Vanek’s deal, and I would be surprised if Nashville didn’t match Weber’s.
I’ve heard a few different accounts of how a move like this would ‘put Edmonton over the hump’, and all I’ve done is gripe about how the team needs to grab another defenceman at nearly all costs. Shouldn’t this make me happy?
A move like this would make the Oilers look pretty good during the season in the first year. But what about after the first year?
I’ve thought about this from Philadelphia’s perspective for a day or so now. If Nashville doesn’t match the Weber offer sheet, Philly gets a cornerstone defenceman for the next fourteen (or so) years. They’d give up their next four first round picks, which would probably start at 18th overall (if they flame out in the playoffs), but could easily wind up in the early or mid twenties. Could the Flyers survive?
The shortest answer I can think of is, well, yes. Don’t get me wrong, Philadelphia will miss those first round picks, but not nearly as much if they were the Oilers.
If you want to get the good groceries, you’ve got to shop where the good groceries are. Shea Weber is good, really good groceries.
If you take the heavier of the reported numbers, Shea Weber’s cap hit works out to about $8M (really, what’s a few hundred thousand dollars between friends?) a year over the lifetime of that 14-year deal. That’s a lot of doughnuts. Consider the fact that that some guys named Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall will be in line for deals next year. Oh sure, the Khabibulin deal (mercifully) comes off the books, but you’d have to think that both Hall and Eberle’s deals will likely run in the 5M range. Keeping Ladislav Smid in the fold? What about Jeff Petry in 2 years? Speaking of two years, there’s RNH, and eventually Yakupov… you get where I’m going with this.
Even if Shea Weber were to agree to an offer sheet with the Oilers, the sheer volume of this contract compiled with the four first round picks make it a huge gamble that’s simply too rich for my liking. If Dubnyk plays 60 games and somehow wins 34 of them, and secondary scoring came from the bottom six, and Shea Weber put everyone on his back and marched triumphantly into the promised land, it might be worth it.
But understand, I’m a bit shy to the idea. As of this moment, I’m not in any way, shape or fashion convinced that the Oilers are a playoff team. Could they be with Shea Weber? Of course. Can’t stress enough how much this team needs another defenceman, and Weber would be the tonic.
But what if it doesn’t work out right? The thought of losing first round picks each year over the next four, compiled with a fourteen year albatross of a contract does absolutely nothing for me.
Would you offer Shea Weber a fourteen year deal at nearly $8M a year?
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