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!

Follow me on twitter @PhillySteve15

*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

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