April 27, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) looks on in game one of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Predators Match Offer Sheet For Weber

The only thing Flyers fans did not want to hear: Predators match the offer sheet for D Shea Weber. However, that is exactly what the Predators announce today.

At 2:51 PM, Nashville sent out a press release announcing their plan to match the crazy 14 year, $110 million dollar contract.

 In the most important hockey transaction in franchise history, Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile and CEO Jeff Cogen announced today that the team has matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet between the Philadelphia Flyers and defenseman Shea Weber, insuring that the Predators’ captain will remain with the franchise for the next 14 years.

In a week of conflicting rumors and speculation of Nashville’s financial situation, the Predators are willing to ante up and pay up $27 million in just one calendar year, despite the possibility of a lockout.

After being unable to work out a trade, the Flyers sent over an offer sheet that seemed almost impossible for Nashville to match.

Almost.

The Predators, who have not a profit since 2007, decided that they needed to do anything to keep their franchise player. Under the rules of the current CBA, Nashville must keep Weber for one season before trading him, if they chose to do so.

Holmgren released a statement after learning of the Predators plans:

In tendering an offer sheet to Shea Weber, we were trying to add a top defenseman entering the prime of his career. With Nashville matching our offer, we wish Shea and the Predators all the best.

Give Paul Holmgren all the credit in the world for trying to make this work. He loaded as much money as he possibly could to the first four years of the Weber deal, hoping it would be enough for Predators and their GM David Poile to match. Homer has tried, but is 0-3 in landing big names this offseason. After missing out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Homer puts all his eggs in the Shea Weber basket. Now Philadelphia has to turn to plan C…or D.

Philadelphia has shown interest in Bobby Ryan for a while now, and with the New York Rangers acquiring Rick Nash Monday, the Flyers will need a proven goal scorer like Ryan to compete offensively. Unrestricted Free Agent Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes came to Philadelphia for a visit and has shown interest in donning orange and black, although his heart is still in Phoenix.

The Flyers still desperately need Defensive help, and two names they could look at via trade is the Flames Jay Bouwmeester and Phoenix’s Keith Yandle. The latter would be the more promising of options as Bouwmeester comes with a ridiculous cap hit of $6.7 million, but neither one compare to Shea Weber.

Paul Holmgren knows this team still has gaping holes, and he needs to work fast to fill them.

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