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Shea Weber Offer Sheet Matched By Predators, Fans React

The Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers' 14-year, $110 million offer sheet for Shea Weber on Tuesday, keeping the Preds captain in Nashville likely for the rest of his career. Flyers fans are bummed, naturally, as the defenseman had expressed his desire to play in Philadelphia.

Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey points out that while Weber will technically be eligible to be traded after the 2012-13 season, Flyers fans should move on as the organization looks to fill its defensive void elsewhere.

Weber will remain a Predator for at least one season under CBA rules, and while many Flyers fans are likely hoping he demands a trade after that one season, there's no guarantee that happens. There's really no indication that it's even a possibility. Weber made clear his desire to play in Philadelphia, but at this stage of the game, there's no reason to realistically hope for a trade to bring him here.

Paul Holmgren tried. Give him a ton of credit for that. Nashville said all along that money will not be an obstacle. Give them a ton of credit for sticking to their word on that. Now, it's time to move on.

Predators fans, meanwhile, are euphoric. Marc Torrence of On The Forecheck wasn't shy with the hyperbole when describing Weber's importance to the still-fledgling franchise.

In the end, the Predators found a way to put together the cash to match the front-loaded deal that Philadelphia offered Nashville's captain.

Is this the most important deal in franchise history? On the surface it would seem so. The Predators have finally taken out the checkbook and signed its best player to a long-term deal that will keep him in Nashville for seemingly the rest of his carrer.

For more on the Shea Weber deal and the Nashville Predators, visit SB Nation's Predators blog On The Forecheck. For more on the Flyers visit SB Nation's Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey.