Nashville’s All-Star, Norris-nominated defenseman was just awarded a record $7.5M in arbitration on a one year deal that will leave the Predators in the exact same situation next season while also facing Ryan Suter and Pekke Rinne as unrestricted free agents. For a team barely able to clear the cap floor, it’s a given that one of these three players is on their way out.
It’s been suggested that Rinne is the most expendable. He was fantastic in Nashville’s playoff win, but the team is a goalie factory with several more blue chip prospects in the pipeline. Weber and Suter are one of the most dynamic and effective defensive duos in the league.
But rumors abound that the arbitration rubbed Weber the wrong way, which combined with Nashville’s perennially strapped financial situation may suggest that their captain is not as open to the kind of long-term, discounted deal that a team like Nashville will one day require. (Also consider that his side of the arbitration felt he was worth $8.5M...not the sort of number put forward by a player open to taking a discount.) That’s leading roughly 29 other teams in the league to sketch pie-in-the-sky trading scenarios for one of the best defenseman in the world.
And I'm no exception! Shea Weber is a franchise player, the kind you build around, and Ottawa, for the first time in perhaps more than a decade, has just loaded up on prospects. Several of them might appeal to a team like Nashville were they to realize that they can’t get Weber under contract: