Zach Parise

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Shea Weber inks 14-year offer sheet with Philadelphia Flyers; will Predators match?

I think Shea Weber is 1000 x’s better than Ryan Suter, so this will be a great deal if the Predator’s don’t match the offer sheet.



The Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators star defenseman Shea Weber have agreed to a 14-year offer sheet “upwards of $100 million,” giving Nashville GM David Poile a week to match the contract terms. The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Weber, 26, made $7.5 million last season with the Predators.

Said Dreger: “Nashville was working on a trade and its believed several deadlines passed before Flyers grew tired of waiting. Weber signed offer sheet.”

Poile had said repeatedly that the Predators would match any offer for Weber; but if a trade was in the works with the Flyers or any other NHL team, does that indicate Nashville’s officially out on Weber?

Josh Cooper of the Tennessean lays it out:

The ‪Preds‬ have said they would match an offer sheet to Weber in the past. This depends on the up front money.

“Up front” as in signing bonuses. Keep in mind Ryan Suter received $25 million in bonuses over the first three years of his deal.

Depending on what Weber’s cap hit would be, the Predators should receive four first-round picks. The Flyers own their first-round picks for at least the next two drafts, with the 2014 NHL Draft scheduled for Philadelphia.

The Flyers currently have $28.42 million committed against the cap to eight defenseman, which includes Chris Pronger‘s $4,921,429 cap hit that will be relegated to long-term injured reserve.

Elliotte Friedman played the prophet about this in his CBC column on Wednesday:

Look, if you really believe getting Weber is going to mean giving up four 27th picks, he’s worth it. Now, I know the counter: what if he leaves you after just one year? This is the dicey part: you almost need a nudge-nudge, wink-wink “understanding” that he’s going to stay. And, if Gary Bettman finds out, he’s going to CRUSH the team that does it. Google “David Stern Joe Smith Timberwolves.”

So, if it does happen (and most GMs are skeptical), the more likely scenario is this: a team calls Poile and says, “We’re going to offer sheet him if you won’t make a deal.” (Phil Kessel to Toronto followed this path.)

And thus, the Flyers gave Weber an offer sheet that he signed. (Friedman indicated he thought the Vancouver Canucks might pull out the offer sheet for Weber instead.)

For Weber, it was an interesting call: Signing a deal now that could be susceptible to a salary rollback (his rather large signing bonuses would be protected), or waiting until a new CBA is settled, running the risk that term limits will be a part of the new rules.

So he opted for the term now, money lost in a rollback be damned.

For the Flyers, it’s another bit of creative accounting from GM Paul Holmgren, as this deal will have been signed before Weber turns 27, hence it takes him right up to 40 years of age. Remember: “The salary cap hit for any contract that is five years or more in length and takes a player to his 41st birthday or beyond will be determined by the average of the yearly salaries only until the year in which the player turns 40.”

It’s also a genius move for Holmgren.

Assuming Pronger’s done, the Flyers were looking at Kimmo Timonen with one year left on his deal at 37 years old; Braydon Coburn signed through 2016; Luke Schenn signed through 2016; and two more years of Andrej Meszaros.

(Speaking of Timonen: Wonder what kind of lobbying he and Scott Hartnell did with their former Nashville teammate?)

Weber is a game-changer if his deal goes through; an elite defenseman, a strong leader and an offensive force. The Eastern Conference has just witnessed a seismic shift in power.

Broad Street Buzz wondered this week what the Flyers would give up for Weber. They may have landed one of the best defensemen in hockey without surrendering a single player from their roster via trade.

As for the Predators fans … your heart goes out to them if they don’t match.

Ryan Suter leaves to play with Zach Parise and chase an incredible amount of money. Weber feels betrayed and disenchanted by the whole thing, and decides his time in Nashville is over.

Two of the reasons why that town transformed into hockey-mad ‘burgh, gone in a span of weeks. Brutal.

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Flyers Free Agency: Why Philly Should Be Thankful It Whiffed on Parise and Suter


The Philadelphia Flyers have had one of the more interesting, albeit not necessarily unsuccessful, free agency periods of any team in the National Hockey League thus far.

The team has made a few additions to deepen the bottom half of their lineup in the form of Ruslan Fedotenko, Bruno Gervais and Luke Schenn.

While they lost an underachieving James van Riemsdyk, and an overpaid Jamomir Jagr, there was still much skepticism that the Flyers were going to need to sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they wanted to be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup in the 2012-13 NHL season.

This is simply not the case.

The positives for adding these two lineups are definitely very obvious. Parise is one of the best American-born players in the game today. He would bring a keen sense of intellect as well as an extra ounce of leadership that might have been the catalyst to get the Flyers into a position to win the Cup.

His presence on the wing would have more than compensated for what they lost when Jagr decided to ship himself off to Dallas, and a long term leader would set the foundation for a very skilled team up front in the future.

Ryan Suter, on the other hand, would help the Flyers with their defensive depth after acquiring Luke Schenn from the Maple Leafs. He would add a dynamic to the high end of the power play while still being able to contribute offensively at even strength.

Put these two guys together, who are buddies and would definitely bring a great attitude into the locker room, and it appears that the Flyers really are going to wish that they had made a harder run for these two guys.

Did I mention that both signed for the same contract of 13 years and $98 million?

Wait, What!?

You read that correctly. In order to land both of these guys, the Flyers would have had to basically put aside $200 million dollars over the next baker’s dozen seasons.

The chances of either of those guys being a factor in a decade is very slim, as most NHL players seem to hit the driftaway point around 33 or 34. Parise and Suter will be 39 years old during the final year of their contracts.

The biggest reason why these two guys were not worth this amount of money to the Flyers is that they are both unbelievably overrated.

This year’s free-agent class was one of the worst in recent memory, and both Suter and Parise were the recipients of that fact.

Parise was 24th among all skaters in points last season with 69, which was 24 points fewer than Flyers superstar Claude Giroux. The former Devils captain also had a minus-5 rating on the season.

Suter, on the other hand, was 11th in points, but only put up 7 goals and took just over 130 shots—just over one shot per game.

The fact of the matter is that the Flyers have much bigger fish to fry, and passing on these two guys was an absolute fantastic thing.

Claude Giroux is one of the best players in the league right now and, with the cap space that the Flyers have saved by avoiding both Parise and Suter, they should be able to land a long-term deal that will have him eating cheesesteaks for the rest of his career.

The Flyers will be just fine this year without the likes of the two guys who ran off to Minnesota. If goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov can play to the level that his contract says he should, they could very easily be finding themselves holding the Cup at year’s end.

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