What you should keep in mind regarding the Preds “offer”…

Shea Weber (Dylan Moody) - 3

In what can only be seen as a disastrous situation for the Nashville Predators, a deal could not be reached with team captain Shea Weber in time to avoid arbitration. Therefore, Weber and the Preds walked into an arbitration hearing this morning and reaction has ranged from “patient” to “panic mode.”

That shot up a whole ‘nother level when Hockey Night in Canada insider Elliotte Friedman tweeted that the Preds had submitted an offer of just $4.75 million. Yes, red flags go up when you hear that but let’s keep some things in mind here:

Ever watched Pawn Stars? Rick and the Old Man (Or General Manager David Poile and the Preds, in this case) always offer low. The reason? Because the seller is going to offer high. That way, at the end of the day, the two parties come up with a legitimate compromise. That’s exactly what’s going on here. In order for the Predators to bring their captain back for around the $6.5 million mark they’d like to pay him at this point, they need to submit a low offer.

Weber, on the other hand, wants as much money as he can get so he submits a high offer, which, in this case, was $8 million. Is Weber worth that much? Absolutely. Can the Predators pay him that and still have enough room to sign Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne long term, however? Absolutely not. But you’re the player. In order to get as much as possible, you “bid” high. And that’s just what the Weber camp is doing.

So, before anyone jumps to any conclusions about how this is a “slap in the face of the captain!” or “how could they think they’re worth $8 million a year?!” take a deep breath and realize that this is the game. This is the game that is necessary to play.

Also, you have to trust that Weber knows that it’s just part of the strategy. Sitting in that room and hearing Poile “justify” why his captain is worth only $4.7 million could be painful, sure. But don’t think for a second that the Weber camp hasn’t stood up and “justified” their $8 million argument with things like “They won’t shell out money for top talent and this is just another example of that!” and “This team has only won a single playoff series in it’s history and without my client, they wouldn’t have won that one.” and even a little “They have a defense-first system and they have no scoring. That makes my client the most important piece to their puzzle.”

Do we wish it wasn’t like this? Yes. Do we wish the two sides could just agree on a $6.5 million deal and get it over with? Of course. And they still may. The two sides can negotiate up until the arbitrator makes his ruling (which can come as late as Thursday morning, by the way). But it doesn’t work like that. This isn’t utopia. This is a business. And, in business, sometimes the legal system has to get involved and, when it does, these are the necessary games that have to be played.

As unfortunate as that may be.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dylan Moody // special to section303.com (used with permission)

13 Comments

  1. Tyler

    August 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I feel frustrated that this deal hasn’t gotten done. We have been told not to worry that a deal would get done and Shea would be here long term. Management has begged for fans to come out and support the team (buy tickets/sell out games), so that we can resign our best players while also signing some new ones to become a legit Stanley Cup contender. Instead all we have done this offseason is let players walk, trade players (salary dump), and mess up our offer sheets to RFA. This is the worst possible situation and I can’t see how this ends good for us and Shea in the present and with Suter or Rinne in the future. Think about it if we let Shea go or trade him, how can we possibly assure Suter or Rinne that they are commited to winning. I hope I am wrong and Shea gets resigned, we bring in a Top 6 forward and resign the other 2, but I am not holding my breathe to any of it.

  2. Preds Fan142

    August 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    The Preds need to bring Weber back for all of these reasons, but let me add one more: momentum.

    Last season, the Preds gained some traction here in the local market place, hitting attendance numbers and ever more corp sponsorship.

    It brings to mind the ole’ adage; “Strike while the iron is hot”

  3. Lee

    August 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    No, this isn’t “the game.”. The game is on the ice, and let’s not forget it’s a game. 8 million freakin’ dollars… Our priorities are messed up… Big surprise, our country almost defaulted on $1,000,000,000,000 debt…

    Go somewhere else Shea… You can be a bench warmer with any team you want.

    • Jonathan

      August 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      I’m really confused by your comment, Lee. First of all, Shea would be the top d-man on any team, not a bench warmer. Second of all, it’s a spectator sport. If you had that kind of talent, with media and fans always following and watching you, you would demand that kind of money as well. Also, the Preds aren’t run by the government. So the debt limit has absolutely nothing to do with this, so your argument is invalid.

    • Randy

      August 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Shea is hardly a bench warmer. He’ll get the 6.5-7 mil deal everyone knew was coming. This is about his new agency squeezing every dime out of us that they can. He will elect for arbitration again next summer so they can extract a few more dimes and he gets to UFA as quickly as possible while making the most amount of money in Nashville that he can. He is the best player to every wear the Blue and Gold and I hope we lock him up. I still want to believe that he wants to be hear long term, and hopefully we can do it locking up 35, 20, and 6 next year. Oh yeah, and on the offense, we will get a forward before 1st game, just watch.

    • Steve

      August 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      I wondered if replying to this was worth it, and I guess I will bite this hook. It is a business actually that involves a great game, and in the free enterprise market of the NHL, he might just be worth $8M. If he can get it, I am all for him. If you can get it at your job, I am all for you. But the market, and not you nor I, will determine that. And why come into this forum with garbage about the nation’s debt? That issue and this one are not related even a little bit. The NHL nor are the Predators defaulting on anything. I do know that 29 general managers in the NHL do hope that David Poile makes your last line come true.

  4. Kaitlyn Haley

    August 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Jonathan, I completely agree.

    p.s. you are so smart, awesome, insightful, wise, and sexy.

  5. Steve

    August 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I think that Shea will be signed to a 4-6 year deal by bedtime tomorrow that will pay him about $6.25M to $6.75M a year. He may very well be worth $8M annually, but signing Sutor and Rinne at this time next year will also be a very high priority. Unlike the other major sports, I think the NHL players can be content with slightly less $$$ for the sake of getting their name on the Stanley Cup. And it would be a really big deal to take a non-traditional market franchise like Nashville to a Stanley Cup win. I think the blocks for this building are in place. Nashville almost went belly up 4 years ago, and the team’s resilience showed then. I think it will also show now and again when Rinne and Sutor have their contracts negotiated. By the way, if I were to guess which one of the three would not get signed, it would be Rinne. He’s great, but those two D-men are the team’s backbone.

  6. Derek

    August 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    As much as i hope to see Weber come back… I have to say he isn’t worth 8 million. Think about it, the other two defense men up for the Norris trophy for year 2010-2011 were Lidstrom and Chara… both of those two have atleast one previous win of the Norris trophy. Lidstrom has multiple wins of the Norris trophy. Both Lidstrom and Chara make under or near 7 million…. Weber though great does not deserve to be paid more than the other defense men that have achieved more in their career.

  7. Zack

    August 2, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    It’s scary. The posters above me have pretty well handled the nuts and bolts, so I won’t get as much into that (except to say that, yes, the Preds lowballed and Weber’s agents highballed in the arbitration). Hopefully they can get a long term deal while waiting for the ruling.

    But it’s really freaking scary is what it is. He chose the 1-year. New ownership has promised to get away from the small-market mentality that has pervaded the early days of this franchise (though I understand we’re still not Scrooge McDuck). Fans are antsy, because we were so close this year. SO close. And now, let’s face it–if the process plays out as it seems right now…we’re looking at the possibility of losing Weber, Suter, and Rinne in the same year.

    Do I think it will happen? I guess not, because I think we’ll keep one of them, at the very least. But again…it’s just scary. I was so disappointed when I checked my Twitter feed this morning to see that the hearing took place.

    As I said on Twitter, we (as in, both the Preds and Nashville) need Shea Weber. I’m aware that others can come along, and that it’s not the “Predator Way” to have a guy like this. But he’s OURS–we drafted him, we groomed him, he’s our captain…and we need to keep him. Nashville, both the city and the team, needs Shea Weber right now. And he may be leaving in one year.

  8. Dave W

    August 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I think it has everything to do with his agent. Weber is his top client with a small firm. I am sure he has told Shea that he will make him vested in the company for many years, etc. Titans tweets, PR, and lack of spelling should be a warning sign to any future client. I would like to think Polie would enjoy getting Shea one on one just to tell him how bad this joker is at his job.

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