We still have no indication of whether or not the Nashville Predators plan to match the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet that Shea Weber signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. But given how incredibly front loaded it is, it’s going to be a tough call and a tough one to match.
If the Flyers end up with Weber, they will have an absurd amount of money tied up in their blue line. The newly acquired Luke Schenn could end up being the sixth-highest paid defenseman if Weber enters the fold, with a $3.6 million cap hit.
Should Nashville choose not to match the offer sheet, or the two sides end up working out some sort of trade, it’s very likely that the Flyers could end up trading another d-man, just to clear up some space and give them some financial flexibility. With all of the shuffling and tinkering the Flyers have done with the defensive corps in the past year, it’s pretty easy to pick out who might be the first one to go.
Meszaros’ contract has two years remaining on it, with a cap hit of $4 million. With the market the way it is right now, there would likely be a few teams willing to take that on.
Meszaros would be a nice add for a team looking for a big body to add to the blue line. He’s a stay-at-home type, who plays the physical game and blocks shots, while contributing a few points as well.
If the Flyers end up making a deal with the Preds to acquire Weber, then you open up a bunch of other possibilities. Perhaps Meszaros could go, or someone like Braydon Coburn, back to Nashville with some young talent to bring Weber to the City of Brotherly Love.
Of course, all of this is just speculation until we actually know what will happen regarding Shea Weber. But you have to figure the Flyers would want at least a little bit of cap relief, and that’s an awful lot of money tied up in six guys, when there are some cheaper options you could insert as the sixth defenseman.
Unless the Flyers end up sending players back to Nashville, some space will be needed not only for this year, but for a few contracts that expire shortly (Scott Hartnell). With so much money tied up in the defense, a blue liner would very likely be the first to go.