Should Preds trade Shea Weber? The answer may surprise you

The news couldn’t have been much worse for Predators fans: star goalie Pekka Rinne will be out of the lineup for a month because of a bacterial infection in his hip. It’s not the end of the world, mind you, but the absence of one of Nashville’s two key cornerstones almost certainly will result in the team struggling.

More importantly, it will illustrate why the unthinkable with this franchise has to be thinkable – and doable – relatively soon. The Preds have to trade Shea Weber.

 

If you’re a Predators fan and you haven’t thrown your computer or smartphone against the wall after reading the previous paragraph, hear me out. I’m not arguing that dealing Weber will be a panacea for all that ails the team. But the moment the Preds matched the 14-year, $110-million offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyers extended to him in the summer of 2012, the clock began ticking on his stay in Nashville.

Yes, retaining their captain’s services was a victory for the NHL’s small-market teams, but that doesn’t mean it was a sound practical decision. The 28-year-old carries a $7.8 million salary cap hit every year until 2026 – and even though Predators ownership no longer is doing things on the cheap, they’re still only 23rd overall in payroll. This is not a team that will spend to the cap ceiling every year, especially when the ceiling begins rising again (which should happen beginning next summer). And so Weber’s salary – Nashville’s most expensive – is an obstacle toward building the type of depth necessary for a true Stanley Cup contender.

Their goaltending situation is a perfect example: with Rinne gone, Nashville’s replacement is rookie Carter Hutton (three career NHL starts) and the backup will be Magnus Hellberg (zero NHL minutes played). If GM David Poile had Weber’s money to play with, there’s little doubt he would go out and sign a veteran as a stop-gap measure. And once again, the Predators are a team that is having trouble scoring. Last season, they had the league’s second-worst offense (2.27 goals-per-game); this year, they’re fourth-worst in goals-for (1.90). A Weber trade could directly address this perennial problem.
http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/should-preds-trade-shea-weber-the-answer-may-surprise-you/


13 Responses to Should Preds trade Shea Weber? The answer may surprise you

  1. reinjosh says:

    Ah…My favorite hockeynews writer. Proteau annoys me.

    Financial concern is an iffy reason to go with for trading Weber. Preds ownership is not an ownership lacking money. They don’t have money troubles now and they have both shown and professed a committment to spending money to build a contender. Signing Rinne and Weber to those deals is one such example.

    And how is his cap hit an obstacle to building a winner? Was Doughty’s 7 million dollar deal a limit on the Cup winning Kings? How about Chara’s 6.9 million dollar deal for Boston? Or Toews/Kane 6.3 million each? Or Brian Campbell’s 7.1 million cap hit when the Blackhawks won in 2009-2010?

    Proteau is an idiot. A better argument would be that Rinne’s injury might take them out of the playoff hunt (they actually hold a spot right now)necessitating another year with a bottom 10 finish. This might bring up the idea of trading Weber, a move that could ensure a higher pick and bring back a nice package that could help build the future forward corps since they have a potential number 1 in Jones and could move to building the defense up around him and Josi instead.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      thing is though if Nashville will only spend to the cap floor then $14M cash for one player is dumb to hold onto. I mean look what happened last year, $14M cash to Weber, they ended $16M under the salary cap and they ended up with only the 4th overall pick. No playoffs despite having the best D-man and a top 5-10 goalie.

      Chicago always spends to the cap and has no problem dishing out money which means they can afford to spend on players like Toews & Kane.

      If someone is willing to pay a fortune to fill in every hole Nashville has for one over-paid player (no matter how awesome he is) I think they should do it.

      If the deal (using Toronto as an example, get over it, lol) was:

      Kadri, Gardiner, Reimer, Liles (eat enough of his salary to even the cap as Toronto cannot take on more), & 2014 1st

      for

      Weber and X contracts (to even out the 50 contract rule)

      Nashville probably should do it since the trade will make them better now and possibly MUCH better in the future.

      If the deal was:

      Weber

      for;

      4 1sts (or something dumb like that)

      then there is no point. Moving that much skill just to save cash is not practical unless the return is insane.

    • coyotes_bettman says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’ stand Proteau – I also hate Ken Campbell though.

      You nailed it right on the head Josh – for example lets use the Calgary Flames for the last 4 seasons as an example – this team was made up of an amazing Forward (Iggy) and an Above Average sometimes stellar Goalie (Kipper) – the rest of the team was shit, pure garbage beyond those guys no matter what we try and say they had Olli Jokinen or point out that they did have Mike Cammalleri, you put powder sugar on a pile of shit it doesn’t become a doughnut it’s still shit. They should have traded Iggy and tried to deal Kipper years ago and did a proper build.

      I think that Poile wants to keep him and his buddy Barry Trotz in jobs forever – however in the hockey world it doesn’t float and if the ownership of the Preds are gonna be stupid enough to carry a low salary cap team with the highest paid player at his position who carries a Ridiculous cap hit for the next 13 seasons then by all means do so – but if you can deal a monstrosity and get back good assets in the mean time – and rebuild I’d say do it that way as well.

      Besides who cares they’re moving to Quebec in the next 4-5 years anyway.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        If he played in Toronto he’d be exposed. It’s not like either. They have pretty much the same numbers and neither is exactly Chris Pronger, just saying.

  2. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Weber is basically a higher paid Phaneuf.

    • doorman says:

      Seriously, lol, a higher paid Phaneuf? I have to know how you figure that one? As for writers, I hate Cox and Simmons,the later is a douche of proportions that clean whale vagina’s

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        I like people that see Weber play twice a year and act like they know his game inside out. Be honest, it’s more how a guy gets praised on message boards and TSN/Sportsnet. Just like the knock on Bolland being a shadow of his former self.

        Weber isn’t an elite shutdown blueliner (because shut down defensemen don’t really exist anymore). He’s a points monkey with a great shot. So is Phaneuf.

        • mojo19 says:

          No Wallace, that’s incorrect. I watch probably 4-5 Nashville games a year. I know it’s not much, but he’s way more than that from my perspective.

          He handles the puck way better than Phaneuf and he moves around with a lot more mobility. Not bashing Phaneuf, but there’s a bit of a gap between what those two bring to the table.

          This sounds like you have some kind of vendetta against Weber, similar to your Nash-bashing. I guess we all have our favourites, and players we feel are over-rated. No judgement, but I disagree.

  3. leafy says:

    Paul Ranger for Shea Weber.

    Just kidding.

    Sort of.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Wasn’t Weber paid like $26 million a year and a day into signing that contract because of bonuses paid out July 1 of this year and last? So they’ve already made a giant financial commitment for him to play one shortened season, of which the bonuses were not pro-rated to a 48 game schedule, the actual salary ($4 mil or something) was. So take that into account and they’ve already invested like $24 million in a guy for one year.

    And now they’re going to trade him? It was a front loaded deal, they’ve already paid a lot of the big money. They’re invested here. Nice thought, but I don’t think they can justify having given him so much money for such a small amount of work. They’ve basically given him the down payment for games he’s going to work off later in his career.

  5. 93killer93 says:

    If they trade Weber I think it has to be by this year’s draft. The breakdown of his contract was 1mil in salary during the season for the first 4 years(so last season he would have lost around 500k) and a $13mil signing bonus each year. Then it goes to 4mil for 2 years, with an 8mil signing bonus in each. So at the end of this year they would have paid him roughly 27.5mil. They can definitely improve the team depth by moving him. But I think they have to decide before his next signing bonus is owed.

    • mojo19 says:

      Wow, it was it even more front loaded with bonuses than I thought.

      Ya I think if they were going to let him go it would have been to Philly for the 4 first rounders. But maybe there’s some pride involved in the offer sheet situation. So who knows, if things go horribly wrong in Nashville this year, it would be interesting at the draft.

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