Hockey writers and analysts said Thursday they expect the Nashville Predators to match the Philadelphia Flyers' offer sheet to captain Shea Weber.
Nashville has until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to match the offer, which according to a source, is $110 million over 14 years.
"If they don't match it, it means they've lost their two best defensemen (Weber and Ryan Suter) and get four first-round picks in return," said Ken Campbell, a senior writer at the Hockey News. "That's not really going to fly with anyone."
The contract is front-loaded, with $52 million in bonuses in the first four years, according to a source.
And after already losing one All-Star defenseman this offseason when Ryan Suter signed his 13-year, $98 million deal with the Minnesota Wild, the Predators are in too tough of a spot not to match an offer, analysts said.
"The Nashville franchise is at a crossroads," Campbell said. "The Predators have got to ask themselves, 'Look, are we going to keep up and compete in the NHL? Or are we going to make ourselves rather irrelevant?'
"I think they're going to match the offer because I don't think they really have a choice."
Expect Nashville Predators to keep Shea Weber
Tennessean | Jul 20