Not sure what to make of this whole Shea WWEber signing by the Flyers. The Nashville Predators have made a lot of noise about matching the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet—they have a week to do so—but there are many reports, including one by Larry Brooks, that the Preds won’t match the ridiculous offer.
Brooks also wrote that the Predators are already in discussions with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren trying to work out a trade of some of the compensation picks they would receive back to Philly for players.
Of course, if Nashville matched, they’d be on the hook for ridiculous sums of money, especially at the start of the contract, and they wouldn’t be able to trade WWEber until next summer, by which time they will have paid him a bundle of his signing bonuses (as much as $28 million, including $26 million worth of bonuses to be paid within the first 11 months).
There were also multiple reports that the Rangers were in on the WWEber negotiations, Glen Sather either working on an offer sheet or a trade for the restricted free agent, but that WWEber didn’t want to live in New York City. So that says to me that A) he didn’t want to be a Ranger or B) he went for more money, as just about every athlete always does.
I honestly didn’t think anybody would make such a bold move, and if somebody did, that Nashville would match. WWEber’s agent reportedly said that he doesn’t want to be part of the Preds’ rebuild. So that makes it more unlikely Nashville would match.
But I can just see Don Fehr laughing all the way to the negotiating table as NHL owners continue to fling crazy money at free agents, continue to toss around those nine-figure contracts. Yep, there’s going to be a lockout and a long delay to the 2012-13 season.
Before I forget again … The Rangers, to the best of my knowledge, haven’t announced a preseason schedule (in the unlikely event there is a preseason). We do know that they won’t play any home games because of the renovation at the Garden, but we’ve seen the schedules of the Flyers, Devils and Islanders, and we know that the Rangers will play four games against those teams:
Sept. 26 vs. Devils at Albany.
Sept. 28 at Devils.
Sept. 29 at Philly.
Oct. 4 at Islanders.