July 19 2012 12:25AM
Offer sheets are back, and in a big way. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Shea Weber to a 14-year contract worth more than $100 million.
The obvious solution for Nashville is to match, if they can. This could represent a golden opportunity to get their franchise defender under contract for the long haul. However, they may not have the cash to match the up-front money. Again, via Darren Dreger:
Its going to be fascinating to see financial terms of Weber's offer sheet. Hearing in one calendar year, he could make $26 mil.
The Predators need to be able to match that first year because they aren't able to trade Weber in Year One; the current collective bargaining agreement stipulates that in any situation where a team matches the offer sheet to one of their restricted free agents, they must retain his services for the next season.
If Nashville can afford the money, then this solves their problem of trying to get Weber under contract. If they can't, then Philadelphia just landed their Chris Pronger replacement for the price of four (undoubtedly low) first round draft picks.
The offer sheet comes as attempts to land Weber via trade failed. Dreger writes that "its believed several deadlines passed before Flyers grew tired of waiting" and reports that other teams in on a possible Weber trade included the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks.
(On an Oilers note: if that's the complete list of teams pushing hard for Weber, and it wasn't made plain to the Oilers organization that Weber had no interest in coming to Canada, then the team simply wasn't doing their job.)
This is easily the biggest offer sheet of this CBA; more details will likely become available tomorrow when people wake up on the east coast.