After missing out on the big name Free Agents and spending the month cocooned in his office, Paul Holmgren went for the kill shot on July 19th.
Per TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Flyers and star D Shea Weber have agreed to a 14 year deal worth more than $100 million, and Nick Kypreos confirmed the deal is worth $110 million. The Nashville Predators have one week to match.
Shea Weber has made his displeasure with the Preadators and GM David Poile known, and has been looking for an out. He may have found it with Philadelphia. If Nashville choses not to match, they will receive 4 first round picks.
If the Flyers can pull this off, it would be a thing of beauty from Homer. He sat and lurked around the free agent market, coming up dry on Suter and Parise, and has been relatively quiet since then. And in a stealthy fashion, Holmgren moved in quickly, agreed to terms with Weber, and woke up a league that seemed mostly dormant.
Dreger also went on to say Nashville was working out a trade, but the Flyers were tired of waiting, and made their move. Another team mentioned in serious trade talks with the Predators? The New York Rangers.
It’s conceivable that Paul Homgren and Flyers management became concerned with the Rangers snatching away Shea Weber, and Philadelphia moved swiftly to come to terms with Weber. By sending him the offer sheet, Philadelphia has almost assured that if Weber ever makes the jump to the Eastern Conference, it will only be for the Flyers.
Poile had promised to match any offer sheet given to Weber, a move in a possible attempt to scare teams away from Nashville’s top Defenseman. Paul Holmgren and Poile may be friends, but he is doing him no favors with this massive contract.
Terms of the deal have leaked out, and Nick Kypreos had the details.
- First 4 years of contract: $1 million salary with a $13 million signing bonus per season.
- Years 5-6 of contract: $4 million salary with an $8 million signing bonus per season.
- Years 7-10: $6 million salary.
- Year 11: $3 million salary.
- Years 12-14: $1 million salary.
What is so crucial about that deal is the first four seasons. In one full calendar year, Weber would receive $28 million in one full calendar year, and $64 million in the first four seasons. In just the first two years alone, Weber’s deal is 16% of the Nashville Predators franchise value of $165 million. Nashville is a relatively small-market team, and a deal as front loaded as this could absolutely cripple them.
The perks of being a big market team owned by a massive corporation like Comcast. Philadelphia knew it was going to take an incredibly high offer with lots of up front money to even think about prying him from Nashville, and that is exactly what they did.
The Predators need to get to the salary cap floor, but only $7.8 million, Weber’s annual salary would go toward that number, and the team would still be $5.4 million short.
The deal made sense from Shea Weber’s prospective as well. With the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement up for renewal, and the owners are desperate to get rid of deals such as Weber’s, it could be the last one of its kind. If the 26 year old decided to wait until 2013 (his free agency year) to cash in on a big contract, it would be remarkably less than what he is being given right now.
In all likelihood it seems as though the Flyers and Predators are headed towards a trade. Poile would be run out of town if he let Weber get away without getting anything in return. Based on comments from Weber’s agent, Shea does not seem happy in the direction this team is going. With Jakub Voracek still not under contract and Andrej Meszaros the odd Defenseman out, they could be two pieces heading to Nashville.
The next 7 days will be extremely interesting, to say the least.
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