Predators, Weber make their cases, await contract ruling

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 12:27am

This much is certain: The Nashville Predators and their captain, Shea Weber, will have a deal by 8 a.m. (CDT) Thursday.

After months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement in traditional terms, the sides made their cases to an independent arbitrator Tuesday morning in Toronto.

According to multiple reports, the team’s bid was for a one-year contract at $4.75 million, which would make him the second-highest paid player on the team behind forward Martin Erat ($6 million). Weber and his representatives requested $8.5 million, which would make him one of the highest-paid defensemen in the league.

The arbitrator, who must rule within 48 hours, can pick either one, or come up with a number all his own. It is logical to assume that the Predators’ submission was lower than what they feel Weber requested but was made with the idea that it would influence a decision somewhere between the two. Plus, the arbitration rules of ‘comparables’ does not allow for either side to use deals signed by unrestricted free agents as support for their respective positions.

Regardless, the ruling will provide the deal that both sides will sign and will guarantee Weber remains with the team at least one more season.

The 25-year-old already has played 402 career games for the Predators, during which he has racked up 214 points.

Weber was Nashville’s third-leading scorer during the 2010-11 regular season. He was named a first-team NHL All-Star and a Norris Trophy finalist following the season — both franchise firsts.

2 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 8/3/11 at 10:43

WRONG...apparently this reporter is clueless about the arbitration process...

The team chose the $4.75 million number because the arbitrator does NOT have to use it. Note that Weber submitted $8.5 million. So, in essence, we have a floor and ceiling to guide the arbitrator. Likely, it will be somewhere in the middle.

No one has reported on the actual offer the Preds presented to Weber, so to say they are $4 million apart is misleading. Especially when a more likely assumption, that has been around for months, is that the devil isn't in the money, it's in the years of the contract.

Speculation is that the Preds offered him a 3 year, $7 million per year, contract and he turned it down, wanting less years. Either way, statistics show that 80% or more of those who end up in arbitration are with another team within a year.

I say we sign him to whatever and then trade him for some scoring punch.

By: foxman on 8/3/11 at 11:54

Why would he want less years???