Philadelphia Flyers: The infamous Shea Weber offer sheet

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Shea Weber’s massive offer sheet still looms to this day. He is still playing out a contract that the Flyers signed him to back in 2012.

The Flyers started the offer sheet train back in 2006 when they tried to go after Ryan Kesler. They also finished it when they went after Shea Weber in 2012. This one was a lot different than Kesler’s, though. It was massive and would’ve made Weber the second-highest-paid NHL player at the time.

The contract was for a total of 14 years and offered him a $110M. How did the Flyers pull that off? A $13M signing bonus in the first four years was a big part of it. Otherwise, his salary was relatively small for most of the contract. The most he would make salary-wise was $6M in years 7-10 of the contract. It was loaded with signing bonuses.

At the time, Weber was coming off an impressive 49-point season. It was his second-best in the NHL at the time. The Predators had just finished a 102-point season and a second-round playoff exit. Despite that early departure, it was a solid season overall. Until the offer sheet of course.

Weber was a restricted free agent at the time. The Flyers were trying to work out a trade for him, something that would not pan out. So they decided to put out the offer sheet, one that Weber would end up signing. Nashville was given a week to match the contract. They would have been crazy to do it, right?

Well, call David Polie and the Predators crazy because they did it. One day before the deadline, the Preds announced they would be matching the offer sheet. It came down to them viewing him as part of the future and seeing it as in the best interest of the organization. They had already lost Ryan Suter to free agency so they couldn’t afford to lose Weber as well.

Due to the lockout the next season, Weber appeared in 48 games for the Predators. He grabbed a respectable nine goals and 48 points. His next season would be the best of his career. He posted 23 goals and 56 points during the second year of the contract.

It was a deal that should have made Weber a Predator for life. At least, that would be the expectation when matching a long-term contract like that. Alas, he would end up being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2016. A trade that will go down in history, P.K. Subban was sent to the Predators in return.

But what if Nashville never matched the offer sheet? For starters, the Flyers defense certainly doesn’t look like what it does today. There is no Ivan Provorov. The Predators would’ve received the Flyers’ next four first-round draft picks. For reference, the Flyers took Provorov in the third draft following the offer sheet.

Before the offer sheet, the Flyers had brought in Luke Schenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs to fill in on defense. They tried to add Suter as well before he signed with the Minnesota Wild. They ended up losing Matt Carle along with it.

Weber could have filled a big role on the back-end, especially as Chris Pronger would end up not returning due to post-concussion syndrome. The Flyers would end up missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. They were 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Adding a piece like Weber could have changed that. It is fun to think about what this signing could have done for the Flyers. Especially with a contract such as that. It’s always a risk signing players to long-term deals. It ended up not working out for the Predators.

Following this season, Weber currently has six more years remaining on that contract. Who knows if he would’ve stayed with the Flyers for the entirety of this deal.