On late Wednesday evening, the Philadelphia Flyers offered defenseman Shea Weber a massive 14-year contract, which leaves the Nashville Predators with seven days to match the offer sheet. The question going forward, of course, is will the Preds match the offer sheet given to Weber by the Flyers?
If the Predators match the offer sheet, they'll be saddled with a massive contract, but if the team decides not to match, they'll wind up with four first-round picks that Sam Page over at On The Forecheck classifies as "disappointing." Page also calls this a "defining moment" for the Predators franchise and thinks the Flyers did the team a huge favor by working up an offer sheet:
If however the Predators have the money and willingness to match, it seems like Philly did a huge favor to Nashville. As Dirk outlined, a one-year offersheet would force the Predators to let Weber walk to unrestricted free agency. If the Predators match this offer, they are guaranteed to have their captain locked up in Nashville for the rest of his career.
Page notes, however, that the only way he could see the Predators not matching the deal is if the structure of the contract has tons of upfront money in the form of signing bonuses.
The only way I see Nashville not matching is if there's no limit to upfront money and Philly front-loaded this thing with crazy signing bonuses, making it financially impossible for Preds ownership. Let's hope that's not the case. If it's only somewhat front-loaded, then the contract is basically what Suter got, which the Preds were supposedly willing to match.