Why it seems unlikely that the Nashville Predators would trade Shea Weber

It’s (an understandable) dream of Oilers fans to see Shea Weber traded to Edmonton. Not only is he from Western Canada, big, strong and capable, but he’d fill the #1 defenceman hole that Edmonton has had since Chris Pronger left town.

Those dreams seem destined to go unfulfilled.

Get Used To Disappointment

Why would Nashville trade one of the league’s precious few franchise defenders? The answer always seems to be “they’re a small market club and they can’t afford him.” By their actions, though, it seems clear that the Predators have decided they can’t afford not to pay him.

The Economics of a Trade

Shea Weber signed his current contract – via a Philadelphia Flyers offer sheet – on July 19, 2012, forcing the Predators to either match and hang on to Weber for at least a year, or decline to match and accept four first-round picks in exchange for Weber’s services. The Flyers made it as difficult as possible for Nashville by structuring the contract to be extremely front-loaded.

No NHL player made more money in 2012-13 than Weber. More than that, Weber’s contract is structured to be heavily bonus-intensive – featuring a $1 million base salary and a $13 million signing bonus for each of the first four years. The signing bonuses mean that by the time Weber could be traded by the Predators, they will have paid $27 million of the $110 million on his contract – just slightly under one-quarter of his total contract in the first year.

Facing a $110 million decision, one has to think the Predators weighed the cost. None of these ramifications were unknown at the time; the Predators knew what they were getting into matching that offer sheet. If it made sense to sign him then, it’s hard to imagine they’re going to change their mind and move him after having already taken the worst lumps.

Certainly that’s the message general manager David Poile has always emphasized – asked about the possibility of a trade by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman in April, he made no secret as to his view:

We have a franchise goaltender and the best defenceman in the NHL … We are building our team around them.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: either the Predators made a terrible mistake, Poile’s being disingenuous, and the team plans to try and get a better return than four first round picks after spending $27 million for 48 games or they really have no plans to trade Weber. The latter seems more likely to be reality than the former. None of that means the Oilers shouldn’t ask, but it does mean not much is likely to come of it. 

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  • DSF

    the conversation just has to start with “Omark….” and hook line and sinker you got yourself a Weber.*

    *trading for Weber is a Kevin Lowe move and just look at our success with those.

    #noWeber

  • I don’t see Larsson avaiable other then for a massive overy pay. I would jump at a trade that included Hemsky, our 2014 1st rounder and a middling prospect.

    What would it take?
    What would you be willing to give up?

    Think about our back end in a couple of years if you didn’t have to give up a Dman to get him

    Larsson – J Schultz

    Smid – Petry

    Klefbom – Marincin

    Looks like a playoff D-corps to me.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Consensus seems that a valuable piece like Larson or Weber or Pietrangelo would require a big overpay to obtain. I put Hall and Eberle in this category. Trade one of them to the east(NYR) and demand an overpay that balances the oil skillset(DelZotto, MacDonagh and Stepan). Lets be on the good side of an overpay for once.

      • This D looks a hell of a lot better then what we have had the last 5 yrs. Sure it is not the most physical D-corps, but shortest guy is 6’2″ lightest in 2 years will likely be J Schultz who will probably get over 200 lbs.

        They should all be legit top 4 guys and potentially a few may end up being top 2 dmen.

        • Tikkanese

          Yes it looks a lot better than our last 5 years, but that’s not saying much. Gord Mark would be an improvement over a lot of our D!

          They may all be 6’2″+ but the only possible physical guy in your list is Marincin. Schultz and Larsson are the only offensive types and the rest will most likely end up being all Defensive D-Men and mostly soft at that. Not a good balance unless we have Barry Trotz as our coach.

  • headmetal

    no one has brought up any of the following names?! I think these are more of conversation pieces than Weber:
    – Yandle
    – Byfuglien
    – Green
    – Hamhuis

    All on teams that could use some pieces. Pricey, but we have assets and I agree with Quick that we need to make some drastic moves

    • oilerjed

      I hate to quote stories that are true speculation but tsn was talking about Winnepeg’s need to make some changes and byfuglien’s name came up as a possible they would get rid of to get quality back. He would definetly be a good start here on wing or D.
      Wonder what he would cost?

  • Spydyr

    Some people feel the Oilers can get Weber for Gagner, Hemsky and the rights to Omark.

    Give it a rest. No more white whales.

    If Weber was to ever be traded the cost would be one if not two of the kids. There would also be 29 other teams upping the price.

    Just let the dream die folks.

  • oilerjed

    It sounds like the arena deal is going to be quashed next week. This from David Staples whom is always optimistic.

    We might not even have a team to complain about. sigh

  • Spydyr

    Back in 2006 when the Oilers traded for chris pronger who would have believed that could happen.The city was very excited. We need another monster trade to get this city pumped about the Oilers.We need Shea Webber. Next year with realignment the opposition will include some big tough players. The current d corp would get manhandled. With the young d coming in Webber would be a great mentor.Offer Nashville Gagner Petry a prospect and a first. Get er done Mac

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The Canucks are over 64 million next season, and only 17 players signed, If Bieksa waved his NT, what would it cost to take both Kevin and Ballard off their hands? Buy out Ballard, this would slice 9 mill of their committed payroll going into next season. Allowing them to fill out their roster.

    Our moving Omark dreams aren’t dead yet.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Let me walk you through this…

        A) Would it ever be possible the Predators may find themselves in a position that they need to move Weber…..Yes

        B) Would it ever be possible Weber goes to Poile and asks to be moved….Yes

        C) Do the requirements/direction of an NHL team change on a year to year basis…..Yes

        D) Does Shea Weber have a NMC…..No.

        Shut the Muck up, all of you!

        • Spydyr

          A) Would it ever be possible the Predators may find themselves in a position that they need to move Weber…..Yes

          There would only be 28 other teams offers to beat.

          B) Would it ever be possible Weber goes to Poile and asks to be moved….Yes

          There would only be 28 other teams offers to beat.

          C) Do the requirements/direction of an NHL team change on a year to year basis…..Yes

          Well duh

          D) Does Shea Weber have a NMC…..No.

          There would only be 28 other teams offers to beat.

          It would cost one or more of the kids.For a albatross contract on a player that most likely would not want to be here.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Welcome to the dark side Spyder.

            A contract is just a piece of paper. It all goes out the window when a player is unhappy about something.

            Who’s to say Poile doesn’t covet what the Oilers have to offer? Screw the other 28 teams, we only care about 1.

            In the immortal words of John Candy….Dose Leafs getting blowd up real good.

        • Wax Man Riley

          Where is Wes? I’m surprised he isn’t here stating his case too.

          Oilers need Crosby and Malkin. Some bigger, stronger centers. If they don’t get Crosby, Malkin, or both then the Oilers are settling for failure.

          I’m starting a campaign. Crosby and Malkin or bust!

  • Spydyr

    I’m very interested to see what Florida does. they will lose Stephen Weiss this summer and I think they would be in the market for a skilled centre.

    Losing the draft lottery means that they will draft one of MacKinnon or Drouin. Even though they could fill that need with MacKinnon, for some reason I’m thinking Tallon will take Drouin. Tallon really likes skill, and made the right decision with Patrick Kane over Turris and the power forward, JVR.

    Gunbranson is top young dog on that blueline. Kulikov would be available and I think MacT should sell the virtues of Sam Gagner as a centre.

  • headmetal

    build from net out…we need a challenger for backup (Bernier or bought out Lou or pry Khudobin for cheap) then really concentrate on a top level Dman. We have prospects, but need to acquire some Vet talent to teach our kids.

    Remember back in our run what Oates and Peca did for the Centers. What Pronger taught our D corp?!? Trading some of the kids may be needed to get the pieces, however I think picks and prospects will be just as well received providing we do not waste other GMs time and make some hockey trades

    • The Soup Fascist

      Oates and Peca were mutually exclusive. Oates arrived a couple years before the 2006 run. His single year was a non-event and he was clearly done. I can’t say if he added value to our centers at the time – I will defer to your knowledge.

      Peca was another one year project 05-06. His regular season play was underwhelming if I remember right. He did turn it up a bit it the playoffs though. Again, I have no idea on how much he imparted on the other three centers, Stoll, Horcoff and Reasoner.

      Pronger was in a different class, IMO. Despite being an all-world jerk he made everyone better. I am not sure Oates or Peca came close to having that impact.

      Hopefully MacT remembers that time in his past and acknowledges the immediate impact of an elite defenceman.

  • Tikkanese

    Our D needs a LOT of work. People have to stop sugar coating how “good” our D really is. Let’s face facts.

    Smid is overrated. Yes, he’s great at blocking shots but that’s really it other than being ok at the PK. Zero offense. He thinks he’s tough but he doesn’t scare anybody with that glass jaw of his. He would be a 5-6 D on a good team. He is worth keeping around.

    J. Schultz is our Mike Green. Just offense. He’s soft, never hits, never blocks shots. When he’s on he sure is fun to watch though. Maybe in time he’ll add shot blocking to his resume like John Carlson did this year. That would be great.

    Petry is a Mac-T non-factor. He kills penalties ok. Does he do anything else? Nope. He’s the Petrell of our D. I wouldn’t mind him moving along to bring in someone with more elements to their game.

    Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, Gernat, etc all need at least two if not 3-4 years in the minors and they are all “maybes” until they make it, so no point hanging your hats on any of them. Klefbom Klefbom Klefbom is all I hear everywhere, the kid’s barely played in the last 3 years, what does everyone expect? Prepare to wait on him. If he makes the Oil next season we are in deep trouble.

    Nick Schultz? He’s just a veteran stop-gap. Works hard, good in the room, serviceable on the ice… nothing special.

    Mark Fistric? Probably not used properly while here but I would hope we could improve on him too.

    Weber? Most of you underestimate how much of a pipe dream this is. The cost would most certainly include one of the core 4 plus a lot more. This is Shea freaking Weber people.

  • **

    I agree that Weber is out of reach; moreover I really don’t think our management would want to take on that contract and be hamstrung when it comes time for the rest of the wunderkids to be signed. I like whoever started talking about alternative names like Yandle. There are good D out there, not named Weber, that would take an asset or two going back the other way, but might not cost a wunderkid, and those are the type we should look to get.

    I keep saying swap first round picks with Philly and package Gagner for Coutier (who isn’t a D I know), but I wonder fi this deal could be made with Phoenix for Yandle? Obviously that leaves a pretty big hole at second line centre, but in FA this year, what is more difficult to come by, good D or a replacement / upgrade on Gagner? I know the Gagner talk is boring now, but we keep talking about it because to get what we want, it would likely cost us at least Gagner. He seems to be the piece fans would be willing to give up, and maybe even the piece that has some actual value to other teams.

    My guess is if they don’t trade our first overall outright for someone on the same kind of level of Yandle, they will pick Monahan if available, if not they’ll take one of the big D. Question to ON, would you take Nishckinin if he fell to seventh knowing he’sgot a bit of an attitude and could bolt back to the KHL anytime?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do when ownership needs/wants to cut costs.

      It would get the Preds off the hook for the other 84 million over the balance of that contract. Nothing screams, we’re in it to win it like being 12 mill under the cap every year for the last 5 yrs. Darn right I believed the Preds may want to get out from under that deal. With no playoff home dates for the foreseeable future, they could easily change their direction. It’s a safe bet Weber doesn’t want to be a part of another 5 yrs outside of the playoffs. The Preds moving Weber out of need, or Weber wanting the Preds to move him, either way, it’s just a matter of time. When Gretzky signed his deal to remain an Oiler till 1999, we all thought he’d be an Oiler forever as well.

      84 million is a couple dollars more than 26 million there Mikey.

      • Eddie Shore

        I have a hard time picturing the owner writing a cheque July 1 for $13M and then OK’ing a trade moving him 3 weeks later. If I were the owner, I’d want my GM to move heaven and earth to bring other players in that will make Nanville competitive WITH Weber if I’m shelling out that type of coin.

  • **

    the price of bringing Weber to Edmonton would be too prohibitive for the Oilers at this point. It would probably end up hurting the team in the long run. With the price the Preds GM would be asking for, the Oil can get at least 3 decent players who’s sum of the parts would have more impact than Weber and it wouldn’t strand the team down the road.

  • MarcusBillius

    We are all hoping for a blockbuster trade or two , when MacT. said that was not what the are planning if I remember him correctly . He is out for complimentary players to surround our stars – not much mention of any so called superstars ! Doesn’t appear that they are seeking big stars unless the unlikely deal falls into their laps . Lets face it after 7 years of nothing falling into their laps , it’s doubtful it will for next year either .

    Lets get back to roll players that can upgrade present personnel not of the big star variety .

  • @ Willis

    One factor to consider is that the Preds are in an a different situation than they were when they signed him.

    At the time they were a team who had just come off 3 strong seasons with a legitimate expectation that they would make some noise in the playoffs in the future. Weber was retained to maintain that.

    Now they have missed the playoffs and did not have a good season at all.

    Is it not fair that a team coming off 3 good seasons would have more motivation to retain Weber than a team coming off the season they just had given the financial implications?

    I’m not saying this necessarily means they want to trade him, but it does mean their intentions to keep him at the time could have been altered over the last year.

    It’s not definitive but it would have to be a motivating factor.

  • I think people are also forgetting Nashville picked up a really good prospect this year, and is about to pick up another one.

    They have an experienced goalie defence tandem, maybe one of the best in the league, and they are about to get some young, and rather large, talent up front. Not to mention they have one of the better coaches in the league. If they can add a bit of scoring and some depth defence in the summer time, they could likely be right back in the mix in the West.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Soup Fascist : I wrote to a Journal writer who agreed with me that Peca and Pronger were not doing much here and vastly underperforming. I commented both were looking like they were on vacation here . Pronger by New Years had penalty minutes resembling a Lady Byng contender . Not until we added the additional personnel at trade deadline did either of them start living up to their potential . Maybe personnel problems had a lot to do with it .

  • MarcusBillius

    Jason, don’t you think a better argument would be to look at the size of his salary, point out his gigantic cap hit for the next half century, and then ask all our genius Oilers fans who want him “where the hell do you think we’ll find the money to sign Nuge, Yakupov, and Schultz – and maybe Gagner?”

  • Spydyr

    I get so sick of these articles about trading for Weber. Half the wags would trade Hall,RNH and Eberle for one player. Stop it already.Enough of the madness. Reality to check. Stop trying to cut off your nose to spite your face. In a word be patient. I implore you no more of these EA sports trades. Gretzky never worried about defense. Ask those of us who watched the 80s Oilers light up teams for 5 goals a night on a regular basis. Sure the goalies are better now. The players bigger. Faster. More skilled. By why in Robin Brownlee’s name would you give up any of the top 6 for this guy. Never mind the cap hit and contract is so obscene that it boggles the mind. Roberto Luongo anyone? Ilya Brzgalov? Scott Gomez? Shawn Horcoff?. These are prime example of why you don’t take on that kind of albatross. New jersey has to forfeit their first roung pick either this year or next in punishment for the Kovalchuck contract. Look at Kipper. One year left at 1.5? He’d rather retire than play for chump change. You really think Weber will play out that contract? Really? Give your heads a shake MacT is smarter than you give him credit for.

  • Eddie Shore

    Whichever team trades for Webber will eventually regret this decision……..just how many times do we have to watch this movie?

    It seems that whenever a big name signs for a trillion bucks somewhere, their play goes south and the team is now saddled with an untradeable asset. Ask NYR how all their superstars are working out for them?

    I would much rather grow our players instead of overpaying for them on the UFA and trade front. Trading for Webber would cost this franchise in so many ways for so long…….right now Souray looks as good a player as Webber. We may already have a mini-WEbber in Klefblom?

    • Spydyr

      ” We may already have a mini-WEbber in Klefblom?”

      Are you sure a player hurt the last 2 years who has never played a game in the NHL is a Mini-Weber?

      I’m not.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Maybe someone should ask Taylor Hall if he wants to wait yet another 3 or 4 yrs for the Schultz,Klefbom and Mirincin types to round into form.

      Do you believe we have that much time before the cracks in this new foundation start to show?

      • 719

        Maybe we should ask Hall which of his linemates he would dispense with so we can get a defenseman that can assume the number one defense spot……assuming we can find this individual.

        There are no number one defenseman that teams are willing to part with, that is the problem……….we got lucky in getting Pronger, last time I checked, there are not too many of those types kicking around.

  • Wax Man Riley

    The OTHER thing is if you look at Capgeek, Nashville has MORE cap space than Edmonton for next year.

    Why do they need to move Weber due to cap space, and why would Edmonton take on that crazy contract.

    Nashville has MORE cap space than Edmonton next year.

  • Oilers are near the top with there scouting to fill their size and future needs , etc.. Forgot where I read it today – maybe Hockey Futures site . Those are still advances over previous 3 years . It’s getting better . just graduates are not ready as yet . So scouting is doing an acceptable job considering . and seemingly moving in the right direction .

  • Word to the Bird

    My personal favorite player to go for is Keith Yandle. You want to pry a great defenseman from a small franchise? How about one that won’t cost the kids?

    Gagner + B-level prospect for Yandle, that’s my trade

  • As for Weber, here is the issue with the Predators as I see it.

    The Predators need to win and make the playoff’s to generate any type of support or financial benefits.

    They are hemorrhaging money and are being propped up by us already.

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120429/NEWS01/304290057/Profit-eludes-Nashville-Predators-despite-ice-success-public-money?nclick_check=1

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/nas120814.html

    http://www.forbes.com/teams/nashville-predators/

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/22/predators-chairmans-bold-statements-will-be-put-to-the-test/

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/19/agent-weber-doesnt-want-to-go-through-another-rebuilding-process/

    So as you can see, the article which was nicely written by Mr. Willis should have said, why it seems just as likely the Predators will be trading Weber.

    So the Predators clearly can’t keep paying his salary, Mr Weber will not stay around for another rebuild, so whats a team to do?

    They have to trade him, which will benefit Predators, a 4 to 1 trade would get the Predator back into the playoffs.

    As much as Weber is a beast he’s worth more to the Predators as a trade asset in every possible way.

    Now I’m not saying he will come to Edmonton but clearly he will benefit the Predators more by being traded.

  • Word to the Bird

    The oilers are a team with an illness, a team trying to cure that illness,but there does not seem to be any doctors available. So we will have to get us a nurse….. Darnell Nurse that is. 🙂

  • 719

    If we had Weber, we would not trade him, so I don’t see how Nashville would either.

    I came up with an idea, not sure if it would work.

    We trade our 7th and Eric Belanger to Tampa Bay for their 3rd and Vinny Lecavalier. Hear me out before you kabosh this.

    This is done with the understanding the Oilers will use a compliance buyout on Vinny. Vinny is then free to sign with TB for a much friendlier cap hit, and TB will out of cap hell. The Lightning, from everything I have read, cannot afford to compliance buyout Vinny, and even if they could would not retain him as he would be a UFA who could sign with any team but TB.

    We help TB out, the Oilers draft Barkov 3rd overall, TB still gets a good player at 7, and they are out of cap hell, with Vinny still on their roster.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Awesome, I like that idea. You put some thought into that and it looks good from both sides.

      Have to see what that buyout looks like first. but the Oilers did flush nearly 9 million down the toilet on Souray.

      wow, that’s a 36 million dollar favor. That’s scrapping off the operating profit for one whole yr in the new rink (if it happens)

      • You see TB is a bad idea, and this is why.

        You trade for Vinny L. then you buy him out, but there is no guarantee he re-sign’s with TB, further more, they still have to sign him, most likely at around 3.0 million on the cheap.

        Where as, you draft Mackinnon and he comes at you for a grand total of 3.175 million…….and he’s like 200 some years younger.

        TB wont do this, back to the drawing board.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Agreed, Eberle and Gagner would look pretty good in their top 6 right about now. Spreading the wealth so to speak.

        Ebs,Gags,Nicky Schultz and the Oils first rounder in 14 for that guy who wears No.6 on their blueline. Sucks to have to surrender Eberle but Weber would lead this current group of blueliners to respectability.

        Appears as though we’re right back to page 1 on this article again.

        • I’m not keen on Eberle, I realize we have to give something to get something but…..I don’t think I could stomach Eberle going.

          I also realize that the Predator would want scoring as well as defensive help.

          This is a no joke trade, but to get Weber would take a 4 to 1 trade IMO

          Along the line’s of Petry – Gagner – Paajarvi and most likely a top flight prospect like Musil or Marincin….plus 2014 first & 2015 first, you have to out do the other 29 teams.

          You have to remember Predators said no to a trade involving B.Schenn and S.Couturier

          https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/226010152325742592

          This is why it’s critical the Oilers move up in the draft and get a center so they can deal Gagner and go after Weber.

      • 719

        I read your original message with links, and you do make a valid point.

        Would he be happy on the Oilers? I know last year when he was talking to teams, he didn’t talk to the Oilers.