Nashville Expected to Match Philly Offer?
General Manager’s say all the time they aren’t scared of offer sheets. Good GM’s refuse to negotiate out of fear but I have a feeling Nashville’s David Poile worst fears have come full circle.
With news of All-Star D-man Shea Weber signing a 14-year, $110 million dollar offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers Nashville has some serious decisions to make. At the very least they’ll have some explaining to do if they allow another franchise player to get away. The actual term and cap number aren't an issue for the Predators but the upfront money in the first year that approaches $30 million could be. Philly obviously structured the contract to get the player and and prevent a small market team like Nashville from matching. Nashville was given a heads up prior to Weber signing the contract with the Flyers.
To say it’s been a rough few weeks for Preds fans would be an understatement.
I’ll give Owner Ed Snider and the Flyers organization some credit. They always have the pedal to the medal and don’t hesitate to make bold moves. This might be an example of the rich stealing from the poor but then again the flyers aren’t doing anything illegal here. With the likelihood of Chris Pronger retiring they are looking to protect themselves with another elite NHL D-man.
But how poor are the Predators?
Sources say Poile told Ryan Suter before July first, that he would make every attempt to not only re-sign Suter and Weber but also take a serious run at Zach Parise. How they would make this happen is unknown but I can confirm this was the plan.
In fact Suter tried to get Parise to sign in Nashville but the former New Jersey Captain didn’t want to. On the other hand Parise made an attempt to convince Suter to sign with the Devils but Suter quickly rejected that plan. History shows us they both eventually landed in Minnesota.
Considering Nashville believed they could sign Suter, weber, and Parise it tells us there is money to spend. One source with knowledge of the Weber offer sheet tells me there is no chance they don’t match the Philly offer. They were already in position to spend north of $100 million to keep Suter and knew it would take a similar deal to keep Weber.
I don’t know how Poile and Predators Ownership can face the fans and explain losing their two cornerstone players virtually overnight. The task of facing goaltender Pekka Rinne might be even more difficult. One source with firsthand knowledge of the situation tells me this morning “#*&* will hit the fan if they don’t match the offer.”
The option to trade Weber down the line will certainly be in play as well. Four first round picks I guess sounds intriguing but it won’t solve the bigger issues especially from a public relations standpoint. Saving the franchise might be the bigger issue here. It isn’t often we see an organization collapse this quickly should they allow Weber to get away.
I should have more on the T.J. Oshie discussions later today. As of yesterday I was told both sides remain a ways apart.
Some Blues fans might be interested to learn the Blues were one of several teams to express interest in Ryan Suter. GM Doug Armstrong made a call early on July first as he felt Suter is a player who could put the Blues over the top. I’m told Suter did have some initial interest early on but as the offers came rolling in the Blues fell out of the running. I’m told the Blues never made an official offer but indicated they would get involved if there was mutual interest.
As of today there are no immeidate plans to sign former 3rd round pick Sergei Andronov as specualted on the internet. He's under contract to play in the KHL this season.
More to come,
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