In an incredibly bold move, the Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to an offer sheet with restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber.
The deal is expected to be for 14 years and in the neighborhood of $100 million. It had been proposed that a team could at least offer sheet Weber to a short term deal that the Nashville Predators would match, simply to show interest, but this is an incredibly bold move by the Flyers.
Their needs on the blue line are well documented. They have several solid defenseman, but no one that particularly stands out. They were considered a potential landing spot for Weber if he were to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Weber may very well be the best defenseman in the National Hockey League, now that Nicklas Lidstrom has retired. The Norris Trophy finalist posted 49 points and 177 hits in 78 games for the Predators this year. His current club, the Preds, now have a week to match the offer.
Nashville has already lost Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild and may have their hands full trying to match this insane offer from the Flyers. It was assumed that the Predators could lose one of them, but losing both Suter and Weber would be an awful blow to a Predators team that was finally starting to come along in the West.
It will be interesting to see if the Preds are willing to match. Either way, you have to applaud Paul Holmgren for going after Shea Weber with this type of intensity. Stay tuned.