Weber signs offer sheet

July 19, 2012, by

The Atlantic division could have been about to change significantly for the Rangers and without them making a single move. The stark reality however is that the division’s order of power won’t change. The Philadelphia Flyers spectacularly went out and got All Star defenseman Shea Weber’s signature on a $110m, 14 year contract with a bold offer sheet. The Predators now has seven days to match the offer, something they are likely to do.

Nashville has what appears to be a straight forward decision to make. Weber is the face of their franchise (despite the presence of elite goaltender Pekka Rinne), an absolute game changing defenseman and a player who may not even have hit his absolute prime yet. Nashville has a large amount of cap space and still need to make the cap floor, something that matching the Flyers offer will help them hit.

In the end, Nashville will likely have to match. However, as Suit noted on Twitter, it’s not just the offer in totality that will be difficult for them to swallow. The front loading is the real issue. Despite their recent success, they are still a small market team and not yet producing the revenue it takes to hand out deals of this nature.

Then there is the compensation element, which will be the Flyers’ next four first round picks. While the picks are a handsome haul, none guarantee to produce a player equal to Weber especially when you consider the Flyers’ picks likely being toward the end of each round given their probable status as a contender with Weber in the fold.

In addition, should Nashville have traded Weber the return would have probably been much greater than the compensation received for an offer sheet. The Predators level of competitiveness/on ice product would also be set back years without Weber and waiting for any subsequent draft picks to develop. This is all without factoring in the loss of Ryan Suter to the Wild and the likelihood of alienating a fan base already dealing with the Suter loss. At the least, a  franchise has to sell hope.

Any Rangers fans hoping for a Weber acquisition can stop dreaming. It is either Nashville or Philadelphia for the big blueliner. Rangers’ fans also need to realise that while Weber would be a huge upgrade, the defense is far from an area of concern for the Blueshirts.

With Dan Girardi and Marc Staal both excellent rearguards in their own right the Rangers could also have their own dominant blueliner in the form of Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh has already developed at an exceptional pace and there’s no reason to suggest he can’t get much better. His maturity level and hockey intelligence are off the charts and his offensive game has developed quicker than many anticipated. While he may not have the shot of Weber (aside from Zdeno Chara, who has?) once he’s fully developed he could come close to matching the Nashville star’s physicality and overall defensive ability.

It appears to me some Rangers fans are, at times guilty of possessing ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ attitude. The Rangers have an incredibly solid defensive core with Girardi, Staal, McDonagh and Del Zotto – himself still far from the finished article. They’re all young and perhaps none have yet peaked. With guys such as Tim Erixon and Dylan McIlrath (perhaps a Shea Weber type down the road) in the system the Rangers still have plenty more talent on the blueline developing.

The Rangers blueline is among the league’s best. While Weber would be a great add in New York the Rangers are better off spending serious dollars in the offense by adding an elite forward to be a difference maker.


  1. wwpd says:

    isn’t the threshold to hit top tier RFA set at $8.4M for 4 first rounders? that would put Nashville’s compensation solidly at 2/1/1 instead.

    this deal would take Weber to age 40, hard to see how the league could challenge it and affect the annual hit but hey stranger things have happened, can never predict what crazy thing these guys are going to do next

    • wwpd says:

      dave I see you all over twitter, can you please clarify why it’s definitely 4 first round picks instead?

      • Tyler says:

        “If the prior club declines its Right to First Refusal, it will be entitled to draft pick compensation based on the annual annual value of the new deal. This is determined by dividing total compensation by the less of the number of years of the offer sheet, or five (this discourages long-term offer sheets in some cases).”

        Therefore the annual value is around $20 million, well over the threshold of $8.5 million which gives 4 first round draft picks as compensation.

      • The Suit says:

        Compensation for Weber is 4 1sts. CBA (Article 10.4) doesn’t use the cap hit of the deal to figure out the compensation. You take the total amount of the deal and divide by the number of years of the deal, or you divide by five, whichever is smaller.

        In this case 5 is smaller. That puts the $100m + deal into the highest compensation category.

  2. Rickyrants13 says:

    I hope the Rangers jump at Vorecek And I hope the rest of the NHL hits Philly hard everytime one of their players becomes an RFA.

    • Tyler says:

      I wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgement, not so long ago that the Rangers signed Sakic to an offer sheet and Colorado management was irate at the implications to financial future. Most teams have done this at some point and there is no league wide conspiracy to go after teams that sign RFAs. Most likely the only negative that comes out is strained relations between Poille and Holmgren.

  3. PopsTwitTar says:

    “So what does it all mean for the Rangers?

    Any Rangers fans hoping for a Weber acquisition can stop dreaming. It is either Nashville or Philadelphia for the big blueliner.”

    Well, there is one unlikely way that Weber ends up on the NYR, or any other team for that matter – if the Nashville financial picture is so bad in a few years that they simply cannot afford the cash bonus payments. I think that is waaaay unlikely, but to me, the biggest question Nashville faces is economic (can we afford to pay this cash?) rather than strategic (is this a good cap contact?)

  4. Spozo says:

    Another angle to this.

    What does this say about the slap in the face cba offer the owners presented to the nhlpa about how the players should be taking a pay cut and that the owners aren’t making enough money.

    • Tyler says:

      This could actually help the owners. If Nashville is unable to match which would only be due to the financial reasons concerning bonus money, Dreger is reporting upwards of $ 60 million in first 6 years and as much as $ 26 million in the first, it would showcase the divide between small market and big market teams.

  5. Walt says:

    I bet the rest of the NHL owners are pissed off to no end at this move. How, with a straight face, can they say to the players, we are broke, and can’t afford the current contract?

    If the union were smart, they would have Weber show up at the negotiation table, and have a sh*t eating grin on his face, and dare the owners to plead poverty! Man, is Holgram a real dirt bag, this could make the union stand up and say pay, or we don’t play!!!!! Work stoppage anyone?????

  6. rob sahm says:

    does this put pressure on sather to pull off the nash deal or maybe make a offer to semin ?

  7. Chuck A says:

    So, per recent Flyer protocols, Weber will be traded around this time next year…

  8. SalMerc says:

    What would you guys think about the prospect of NYR extending an offer sheet to Evander Kane of Winnipeg? Say 15 years, $120M, The kid is 21, already a star, and can put the puck in the back of the net. I am unsure of the WJ financial situation, but surely the NYR can put enough poisen pills in the contract to make it hard for them to match. Besides, 4 first rounders (probably picks after 20) would be a better price for this player than the bounty asked for in a Nash deal.