Surprisingly, all parties involved in Shea Weber's contract negotiations did not (at least publicly) sound upset about Weber's 1-year award for $7.5 million. In fact, they sounded strangely more confident that a long-term contract could eventually be reached with Nashville's Norris Trophy runner-up.

"Obviously nobody wants to come to that, but it is what it is. We have something in place for now, and hopefully that can allow us some more time to get something longer term done," Weber said. "This is a temporary solution. I love it in Nashville. I love my teammates. I love the fans and the city. This is what we have for right now, and we're going to go from here."

General Manager David Poile's voice sounded slightly upset that an accord could not be reached, but still seemed hopeful that the Predators and Weber could eventually come to a deal. Weber is not an unrestricted free agent until July 1, 2013.

"I'm not pessimistic, I'm optimistic we can get a longer term deal done," Poile said.

Poile admitted that he was worried that the $4.75 million salary number he submitted to the arbitrator would insult Weber. But his captain said he understood it was just the part of the business.

"Obviously they're trying to get the best deal they can," Weber said.

So what does this all mean? For starters, it means that Weber will probably be a Predator next season, though for a pretty hefty price. He was given the largest arbitration award in NHL history and will be the highest paid player on the Predators next season. Weber is the top paid NHL defenseman in terms of salary cap hit, and the fifth-highest paid defenseman in terms of real dollars.