The way I see it is this:
Weber is either going to be a Flyers for fourteen years, a Predator for fourteen years, or a Predator for one year and then traded. What the Preds have to assess right now is what each of those options does for their franchise.
Option 1) They do not match and Weber goes to Philadelphia:
- to me this makes the most sense, and it's not just because I'm a Flyers fan. They will receive four first round draft picks as compensation, and have a ridiculous amount of cap to work with even in their small market. While they are going to struggle to reach the cap floor I think it will be achievable by adding some free agents and possibly making a couple trades. Also, while some will say that the picks won't be until later in the first round...they're still able to package to move up for higher picks.
Option 2) Weber matches the offer:
- to me this option makes sense for the franchise and fan base. Weber is their franchise player, and keeping him is a must, especially after Suter left for Minnesota. They would be going from a pretty decent playoff run to a bubble team in a matter of weeks. Weber is the type of player you can build a stellar defense around, and of the Preds hope to continue winning they need him. Unfortunately, this option poses a threat. This will make it virtually impossible for Nashville to afford any players. This deal is so front loaded it could send the franchise into a download spiral of mediocre seasons, mid-late round draft picks that don't impact the team right away, and don't really stand a chance at adding the players needed to make a deep playoff run because of the insane amount of money they'll be paying weber and Rinne. I can't see Nashville matching this offer based on the fact that it could financially ruin their chances of building a good team.
Option 3) They match the offer and trade Weber after one calendar year:
- If Nashville does this....well....they won't. Considering this contract will cost aground 24-27 million in the first year, Nashville would be stupid to attempt this. Financially it would be a disaster, and I can't see them being able to match the offer anyway.
I believe option one is going to happen. As much as Nashville needs to keep their franchise defenseman and do whatever they can do to keep their fan base happy, they need to be smart and think about the business side of things. Financially I don't think they're capable of matching the offer, and if they do it's really going to hurt the franchise's future as far as the team goes.