Predators retain Weber, match $110 million offer sheet

The SportsXchange

The Nashville Predators didn't want Shea Weber to be the one that got away and climbed a few rungs above their financial limitations to retain the defenseman by matching Philadelphia's 14-year, $110 million offer to the restricted free agent.

Predators chairman Tom Cigarran and general manager David Poile announced Nashville's decision to match the offer, which makes Weber the highest-paid player in franchise history.

A team-issued release described how management weighed the decision to match the lucrative offer and ultimately decided Weber was too valuable to part with.

"As the organization analyzed the overall situation and worked toward a conclusion, the decision boiled down to three questions:

--Was Shea Weber the individual that this franchise wanted to lead our team, a team that would compete for the Stanley Cup every year, for the next 14 years?

--Would matching the offer sheet be in the best long-term interest of the team and organization?

--Would a decision not to match the offer sheet send a negative message to current Predators players and other NHL organizations, a message that the Predators would only go so far to protect its best players and be pushed around by teams with "deep pockets?"

"The answer to each of the above questions is clearly yes," the statement read.

Weber, the team's captain and a driving force at age 26 of the Stanley Cup contender last season, had 19 goals and 30 assists for the Predators in 2011-12. He had 16 goals and 32 assists in 2010-11.

Weber was the 49th overall pick in the 2003 draft.
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