It’s been tough for Shea Weber recently. The captain of the Nashville Predators lost his defense partner Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild thanks to its blockbuster Fourth of July deal and, considering his status as a restricted free agent, his future in Nashville may be uncertain as well.
Weber recently said that he was shocked by the decision and was still trying to process it. Here’s one takeaway from it, though: this makes things more difficult for general manager David Poile. This time last year, Weber went to arbitration and was awarded a $7.5 million contract. Things are different this year–Weber is not among those players who have started the arbitration process–and Poile has a chance to handle this differently as well.
He could mimic what the Pittsburgh Penguins did with Jordan Staal, who was offered a big contract, rejected it and was traded on draft night (and his wedding day). If Weber does go up for trade, though, there are some teams that may just need a big defenseman like Weber.
The Detroit Red Wings recently lost Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement, although he is going to stay in the organization as a scout based in Europe, so they may find a use for Weber in their lineup. Sure, they will need to bury the hatchet from when Weber drove Henrik Zetterberg into the glass during the tumultuous first round of the 2012 playoffs, though. The team may be more forgiving than some fans in that case.
The Philadelphia Flyers might be interested because of the loss of Chris Pronger, who isn’t expected to return to the lineup anytime soon as he struggles with post-concussive syndrome effects. Pronger and Weber have some things in common, too: both are defensemen, both are team captains.
Other potential Weber suitors may include the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes (new home of Staal) and Dallas Stars. He might even make a more attractive acquisition prospect than Rick Nash, who may be too costly for some teams to consider at this point.