Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The pros and cons of matching the Shea Weber offer sheet

Shea Weber debuts his "Just realized
the Predators could match" face.
Shea Weber dropped a bombshell on the NHL last week when he signed a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. The heavily front-loaded contract would see the restricted free agent collect over $50 million in the first four years of the deal, making him the league's highest paid player during that time.

The Predators have the right to match the offer, but the contract seems to have been carefully designed to force Nashville general manager David Poile into an almost impossible decision. Does he let his best player walk away, receiving four first round picks as compensation but potentially devastating both the team's fanbase and its playoff hopes? Or does he match the offer, knowing the burden of the contract's first few years could put the financial health of the franchise at risk?

It's a tough call, and so far there's been no indication which way Poile was leaning. So since he still has a few days to make up his mind, I thought I'd try to help out. After talking to sources and crunching the numbers, here's my list of the Nashville Predators' pros and cons of matching the Flyers' offer sheet for Shea Weber.

PRO: The contract is front-loaded and doesn't call for Weber to be paid very much over the final three seasons, which is great since those will be the only ones actually played thanks to the lockout this contract will cause.


CON: The process of matching the offer may be confusing, since the section of the NHL owner's manual that covers dealing with offer sheets for star players simply reads "Remind the other team that we all got together a few years ago and secretly agreed to never actually use those".


PRO: The Predators have been receiving revenue sharing payments from the league's wealthier clubs for years, and Maple Leaf fans would probably enjoy seeing MLSE's money go towards signing a big name free agent for once.


CON: Weber has expressed a desire to play in Philadelphia and upsetting him could make life difficult around team headquarters, according to the janitor who would be in charge of cleaning all the David Poile face smears off of the windows.


PRO: Some of the picks the Predators would get as compensation wouldn't be used until the 2015 and 2016 drafts and probably wouldn't make their NHL debuts until 2018 at the earliest, which would be just in time to be part of an offer to Vancouver for their eventual Roberto Luongo trade.


CON: Um hello, the Predators can't even match the offer in the first place since apparently it's illegal for teams in the Central Division to make any major offseason transactions this year, according to confused Red Wing fans.


PRO: Weber is so well-respected among his Predator teammates that they're even willing to help him relocate, or at least we assume that's why Pekka Rinne has spent the last week hoarding moving supplies and googling "fastest route out of Nashville".


CON: Without Weber there won't be anyone left on the Predators roster capable of growing a top notch playoff beard, which seems like a problem until you remember that once he's gone they won't be needing them anymore.


PRO: Matching the offer would lock Weber under a lengthy contract, and having an unhappy superstar on a long-term deal is a great idea that always ends up working out just super-awesome according to Scott Howson, although come to think of it he did sound kind of sarcastic.


CON: It's only natural for the Predators front office and ownership to feel betrayed and even angry at Weber for signing an offer sheet, and there's really no better revenge against someone you're angry at than forcing them to spend the next 14 years living in Philadelphia.


PRO: Losing Weber could cost the Predators all of the die-hard Nashville hockey fans they gained during the last few playoff runs and that could be as many as four or five people, say Canadian hockey fans before laughing hysterically, high-fiving each other, and then muttering "What's a playoff run?"


CON: The massive contract could cause bad feelings among Weber's teammates, and that could become a serious issue a few years into the deal when the Predators can once again afford for him to have some.




43 comments:

  1. Many of the best athletes in the world would love the oppurtunity to "live in Philadelphia for the next 14 years".

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    Replies
    1. Yesssss somebody took a line in a DGB post personally!

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    2. I'm sure Pelle Lindbergh would have.

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    3. You're not from around here are you?

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    4. Mike, is that you? Welcome back!

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    5. ^ This hahahahah!

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    6. Can't be from Philadelphia, how would a homeless person get online?

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    7. Oh stop it. I've been a Flyers fan since 1973, and this article was funny.

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    8. Welcome back mike. We missed you

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    9. Mike, you're still an idiot. I want out of Philly now.

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    10. Rangers fan here, Mike's still an idiot.

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    11. Can someone point me to the original Mike thread? I could use a laugh . . .

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    12. Found it, 6/28/11. Your source for more Mike related humor. DGB should have "mike" guest write a column one of these days.

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    13. || Many of the best athletes in the world would love the opportunity to "live in Philadelphia for the next 14 years". ||

      Especially those who want to eliminate the chance of injury from carrying around heavy championship trophies.

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  2. "Um hello, the Predators can't even match the offer in the first place since apparently it's illegal for teams in the Central Division to make any major offseason transactions this year, according to confused Red Wing fans."

    The truth, she hurts...

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    Replies
    1. So much for 22 Consecutive Playoff Appearances.. :(

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    2. Since I'm a Blues fan, I have 1st hand knowledge that all the GM's in the Central division got together in the offseason and decided (conspired) to make no improvements to their teams so as to allow the rest of the league to 'catch up' to the 'best' division in the NHL!!!!!!!

      Unfortunately, Poile misunderstood and is allowing his (2) best players to leave the Predators!!!!!!!

      Next time, try staying awake Poile and you won't send your team back to 'the dark ages!!!! LOL

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    3. Maybe the Blues fan should add a few exclamation marks and throw in a 90s-esque "LOL" for effect.

      Oh, wait...

      Someone's bitter about the Preds' success over da Bluesers this past year.

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    4. That's really funny since the Blues won the Central this past year...

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    5. @Dan: I think - wait, I know - he was suggesting how none of the Central teams have made any huge improvements. Actually, all the Central has done is scare top-notch players away (See Suter/Nash)

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  3. "Losing Weber could cost the Predators all of the die-hard Nashville hockey fans they gained during the last few playoff runs and that could be as many as four or five people, say Canadian hockey fans before laughing hysterically, high-fiving each other, and then muttering "What's a playoff run?""


    Ouchie! :P

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  4. "PRO: The contract is front-loaded and doesn't call for Weber to be paid very much over the final three seasons, which is great since those will be the only ones actually played thanks to the lockout this contract will cause."

    Contracts like this and the Parisuter are why I have zero sympathy for the owners in this CBA debate.

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  5. "cleaning all the David Poile face smears off of the windows".

    That image will remain a favourite in the playground of my mind.

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  6. I guess it could be worse for Shea than 14 yrs in Philly. He could have to spend another day in the sports mecca of Nashville....Hey Down goes Brown don't you have a cousin to marry or some sad excuse for a country album to realease?

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    1. You do realize that DGB doesn't live in Nashville, and Nashville isn't his favourite team, right?

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    2. You know, because this is totally a Preds blog.

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    3. Wow Philly fans are pretty sensitive eh?

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    4. Oh God, dude -- it's Down Goes Brown. He's not ... I mean ... it's ... AGH FORGET IT.

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    5. He can't even spell "release."

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    6. His name is Kenny jay.... Two first names can only mean he's been a hockey fan since late May..... Thanks KJ!

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    7. Seems like everyone from Philly has a chip on their shoulder. Must be sensitive because their greatest hero is a fictional boxer. Don't worry, Philly, when the contest for Best NHL City is over, you'll get a participation ribbon for participating.

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    8. I've lived in Philly for 18 years and I haven't stopped laughing at that line. Lighten up people, funny jokes are funny!

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  7. "14 years in Philly" could be the name of a great prison movie!

    As for Weber, how can Nashville seriously think about keeping him around after this? "Hey kids, try to be a loyal Pred and leader like Suter... er... Weber... like that dude over there whose name I don't know yet..."

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  8. Just to balance things out - I'm a Philly resident and Flyers fan since '87 and thought the Philly joke was funny.

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  9. I'd rather live in Newark than Philly.

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    Replies
    1. Um.. No you wouldn't... Nice try though...

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    2. I still laughed.

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    3. Eww.... Just compared both cities - wouldn't want to live in either.

      According to this site: http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=newark&s1=NJ&c2=philadelphia&s2=PA

      Newark has more murders per capita while Philly has more rape...

      Pick your poison.

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  10. Predators match. Financial stability secondary to good D man.

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    Replies
    1. Flyers=still have a crappy defensive core beyond timmonen/coburn. lol

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