NHL Signing: Nashville Predators Match 14-Year, $110 Million Offer Sheet For Shea Weber
The Flyers signed Weber to the offer sheet which includes $68 million in bonus money in the first six years last week. In total, Weber will make $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six; $6 million in each of the next four seasons; $3 million in year 11; and $1 million in each of the remaining years.
“The decision to enter into the largest contract in franchise history was made by all parts of the organization, including ownership, hockey operations and business operations,” read a team statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.
“As the organization analyzed the overall situation and worked toward a conclusion, the decision boiled down to three questions: Was Shea Weber the individual that this franchise wanted to lead our team, a team that would compete for the Stanley Cup every year, for the next 14 years? Would matching the offer sheet be in the best long-term interest of the team and organization? Would a decision not to match the offer sheet send a negative message to current Predators players and other NHL organizations, a message that the Predators would only go so far to protect its best players and be pushed around by teams with ‘deep pockets?’ The answer to each of the above questions is clearly yes.”
The 26-year-old remained a restricted free agent after failing to come to an agreement with the Predators when his one-year, $7.5 million contract awarded through arbitration expired after the season.
The native of Sicamous, BC is coming off back-to-back first team NHL All-Star selections. He finished the 2011-12 season with 19 goals and 49 points. The captain of the Predators has spent seven seasons in Nashville, recording 99 goals and 263 points in 480 career NHL games.
Speculation was that Weber would have filled the void left by defenseman Chris Pronger, who has been battling concussion problems and could retire. The Flyers also lost defenceman Matt Carle via free agency. He signed a six-year, $33 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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