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Press Box: Predators match Flyers' offer to keep Weber

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, 26, had 19 goals and 30 assists for the Predators in 2011-12.

--- The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Jay Harrison to a three-year contract extension.

Team president and general manager Jay Rutherford said the $4.5 million contract was earned through Harrison's consistency.

Harrison led Hurricanes' defensemen with nine goals and had 14 assists in 72 games.

NASCAR

---The No. 09 RAB Racing team and driver Kenny Wallace were penalized Tuesday after their Toyota entry failed post-race inspection after a fourth-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.

Wallace and team owner Robby Benton were each stripped of six points for an improperly attached weight and failing to meet the minimum weight after the STP 300 at the Joliet, Ill., track. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli was also fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Sept. 5. Additionally, car chief Travis Young was placed on probation until Sept. 5 for the same infractions.
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