Thursday, July 19, 2012

Philadelphia Flyers Sign D Shea Weber to Offer Sheet, Philadelphia 'Explodes' in Middle of the Night

If you were up at 1:30 this morning, you may have heard that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet worth upwards of $100 mil over 14 years, according to TSN.

This comes as shocking news, as it was thought the Flyers were done making their moves of the offseason.  This signing would clearly cement Philadelphia with one of, if not the best defensive corps in the entire NHL.  

Shea Weber is the second coming of Chris Pronger, the Flyers currently injured Captain.  Weber is the complete package.  There is absolutely no second guessing that.  He has great size (6' 4" 234 lbs.), great defensive ability (177 hits, 140 blocked shots, +21 last year), and brings a lot of offense with a booming slap shot (see picture above and 18.5 goals and 48.3 points per year over the past 4 years).  Combine all of that with the facts that Weber is already the Captain of the Predators and that he is only 26 years old, and Paul Holmgren has hit a home run this offseason with a move that may just get Flyers fans that Stanley Cup they've yearned for for so long.
*Note: Weber has also been runner up to the Norris Trophy(Best all around defenseman in the league) for the past two years.  Multiple wins are almost guaranteed for him given his development so far.

But wait just a minute.  I'm assuming a good lot of Flyers fans forgot that Shea Weber is a restricted free agent.  Homer didn't get away with the best overall defenseman(In my opinion) just yet.  Let's break it down, a restricted free agent is different in that players have special restrictions(duh) on the terms under which they can retain or change employment status with their current team. 

In the NHL, if a team wants to sign a restricted free agent, they must extend an offer sheet, in which the interested team must give up a series of picks dependent on how much money the player in question would make with a new contract.  Shea Weber falls into the most extreme category of RFA's.  He made $7.5 mil this past year and will likely make about the same per year on the proposed contract by the Flyers.  Because it is so much money, the Flyers would have to send Nashville 4 first round picks over the next 4 years.

Some people may say that is too much to give up for Weber, but listen to this.  He is a stud, he completely fills the role of Chris Pronger and is over 10 years younger.  Sure, 4 first rounders is a lot to give, but the current Flyers roster is filled with young guys who are still growing who will run the team soon(see; Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn).  In my opinion, given how young the Flyers are, we can live with no first round picks for a while, even if the draft will be held in Philadelphia in two years.

However, even with the offer sheet compensation, Nashville can still reject that offer and sign Weber to the contract proposed by the Flyers.  The Flyers would be able to keep the draft picks in this scenario.  Rejecting the Flyers offer sheet would probably be the best decision for the Predators.  It would keep their heart and soul in Nashville for the rest of his career(likely), and given that Ryan Suter, the second piece in Nashville has already left as a UFA, that would be a necessary thing.

Simple solution, right? Wrong.  Besides Weber and Suter, Nashville doesn't have many stars.  Besides goaltender Pekka Rinne, there isn't much to build around.  They can however, build around 4 extra first round draft picks.  It's definitely a risk, but considering that Weber is already upset at Nashville for letting Suter go, maybe they should just take a step back and focus on a rebuild.  Obviously, I am not an NHL GM, but realizing that Weber being one of the only guys on your team with value would make me think.  Would they really have a chance at a deep playoff run, even though they have lost players?

The Predators have a week to decide.

Thanks for reading! Comment and let me know what you think.  Is Homer smart for offering that big of a contract? Will Nashville GM David Poile let Weber go? Without Weber, do the Flyers still have a chance for a deep playoff run? Let everyone know!

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*Update: The contract in question appears to be worth $110 mil.  The layout is as follows

There is a lot of money in bonuses the first few years.  Will the Nashville franchise even be able to afford that, regardless of cap space?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks again for reading! Comment please

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Flyers Have Real Chance to Land Zach Parise

It is reported from multiple sources that the Philadelphia Flyers have offered UFA Zach Parise a contract for 12 years worth about 100 million dollars.  Parise is the cream of this years free agency crop and was being pursued by almost every team today.  This contract offer goes to show how highly many teams covet the 27 year old winger.

Zach Parise is a complete player.  He is a very talented goal scorer, can pass the puck equally as well.  He is very adept at playing a 2-way style and isn't afraid to play gritty and get into the dirty areas.  He is also a leader and plays the game the right way. A hard worker who you can respect. Was Captain of the Devils last season.

Just recently, a 'short list' was leaked for teams Parise was interested in signing with.  The list included New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Detroit.  Another thing to take note of is the fact that Parise didn't like being behind former teammate Ilya Kovalchuk in the New Jersey spotlight.  If this has an impact on who he signs with, Pittsburgh doesn't make much sense.  He would be third fiddle behind both Sidney Crosby and reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin.  Detroit has Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.  In Minnesota, Parise's home state, Zach would be King, but the Wild don't have nearly as good a team as the others mentioned which may have an impact as the Wild aren't a bonafide Stanley Cup contender.  New Jersey may be the best option has he has played his whole career there.  But, the Devils have had some financial issues as an organization, and another giant contract wouldn't be good for the team.

This leaves Philadelphia, a young team with a lot of youth, talent and potential.  Claude Giroux is the head honcho here, which may be an issue but when you think about it, Giroux and Parise would play together.  It would be leading a team by committee, which could be intriguing for Zach.

Now we must understand that the Devils and Flyers have a bitter rivalry.  What we don't know is how Parise will react to that though.  If he doesn't consider the rivalries of the team he signs with, Philadelphia could be a very likely landing place for the American winger.

Flyers fans like myself are salivating at the thought of having a line consisting of Claude Giroux, Zach Parise and Scott Hartnell.  If Parise was to join the Flyers, the team would be an instant favorite to win the Cup, which is the primary goal for any hockey player.

Could Zach Parise be headed for the City of Brotherly Love? It may make people laugh, but this seems like a very likely landing place for Parise.  We know that Zach will wait until tomorrow to make his decision, so at this point, we can just speculate. 

These are my views and reasons to why I think the Philadelphia Flyers are a very reasonable place for Zach Parise to sign with.

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Thanks for reading!

Flyers Make Offers to Parise, Suter, Carle

3 of the biggest names in free agency, these guys will be getting a lot of calls today.  The Flyers only have a reasonable shot to resign Carle. However, if the Flyers can sign any of these players, I will be one happy guy.

Parise is the complete package. A winger, he would be a great compliment to Claude Giroux. He brings leadership, grit, skill and a relentless motor. Very unlikely to sign here though.

Suter and Carle bring similar skill sets, but Suter is a top pairing defenseman.  Shot blocking, puck moving, safe players.  Suter will get a much bigger contract though.

Flyers may have interest in Mike Knuble

A former Flyer, Knuble would bring grit, leadership and experience to a young team.

Minnesota Wild Sends Offers to Parise, Suter

Parise is from MN and the Wild aren't afraid to show him the money.  They claim they won't be outbid.  This is a team to watch out for today.

Marty Broduer Is Garnering Interest

Blackhawks, Leafs, Sharks, Lightning, Panthers are all interested in arguably the greatest goalie of all time. Will he actually leave the Devils?

Scott Clemmensen Officially Resigns with Panthers

Goalie Scott Clemmensen stays with his team from last year.  Will continue to be a solid backup who can be relied on. Jakub Markstrom may compete for starting job.

Jaromir Jagr Fielding Offers

As expected, former Flyers winger Jaromir Jagr is testing free agency and is now listening to teams other than the Flyers.  Jagr wants role stability and money. Look for him to sign somewhere today.

Benoit Pouliot Resigns with Lightning

Pouliot resigned with the Tampa Bay Lightning on a 1 year deal worth 1.8 million dollars.  Still improving, Pouliot should be a decent producer for the Lightning this year.

Shane Doan Won't Make Decision Right Away

Shane Doan has said he won't make a decision on signing with a new team until the Phoenix Coyotes resolve their ownership situation, one way or another.

Doan could be a very valuable veteran leader for any team in the league. Look for him to sign a multi year deal with a team in a little over a week.

Detroit Red Wings Look to Make Big Splash

The Detroit Red Wings, arguably the most respected organization in the NHL, have plenty of cap space.  They also have a need for both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, both UFA. Look for the Red Wings to make a big push for multiple big names.

Michael Leighton Signs with Flyers

Michael Leighton just signed a 1 year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers for 900k. Possible candidate for NHL backup, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Homer go for someone else. The Phantoms needed a goalie too, this could be Leightons spot.

Quick Analysis of van Riemsdyk, Schenn deal

Recently, the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade.  The Flyers sent away former 2nd overall draft pick in 2007 James vanRiemsdyk in exchange for Luke Schenn, who was also a very high draft in 2008.

This trade looks like a good deal for both sides.  JvR, a winger with some injury issues, has been buried in the depth charts because of the Flyers wealth of forwards.  He has a very high upside, but hasn't been able to reach his potential.  He has size, speed and skill without a lot of physical play.  For most teams, he could and should be a top 6 forward, an impact player.

Luke Schenn, the older brother of current Flyers forward Brayden Schenn is a stay at home defenseman.  He is a right-handed shot which the Flyers haven't had in years.  He is a big hitter who has a high ceiling, but hasn't reached it, similar to vanRiemsdyk.

Both of these players are in similar situations, high upside players who just haven't been able to thrive in their now-former organizations. This trade should help out both teams.

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