It’s been reported via multiple media outlets that Nashville Predators super stud defenceman Shea Weber has indicated through his agent Jarrett Bousquet that he does not want to go through another rebuilding process. Pretty bold statement from a player that’s only 26 years old who has played for a team that’s made the playoffs six out of his seven years in the NHL. Want to talk about rebuild? Being a Panther fan I’ll talk to you about rebuild. Weber who has at least another 10-12 years of great hockey left, 0r 14 if you’re the Philadelphia Flyers, seems to be making a bit of a flippant remark if you ask me. Jarome Iginla, can talk about not wanting to be part of a rebuild.
What rebuilding is Weber talking about? They have a potential stellar netminder in Pekka Rinne, and group of defencemen that aren’t well known yet, but are able to play within the system that head coach Barry Trotz has in place, and about 10 forwads all able to score goals in double digits, with a couple of them on track to score 30 consistently.
Weber is obviously worried about what the Predators will have to do to replace a few players that have left the team, giving him a feeling that they will take a step back. Sure losing Ryan Suter via free agency hurts, however part of that blame could be placed on Suter himself who was asked about his future. Had he been honest with Nashville managment and told them it was his desire to play in Minnesota and leave, the Predators may have been able to work out a trade at the deadline, or draft, and at least have received something in return. Losing the enigmatic Alexander Radulov is certainly nothing to lose sleep over, as is the loss of Andrei Kostitsyn. Both players most likely sealed their fate with their “night on the town” during the playoffs anyway.
Now that the Predators have their backs against the wall, needing to come up with a decision on whether to match the Flyers offer or not, the politics of the situation have reared their ugly head. Weber’s agent seems to be greasing the wheel for his clients exit. What is Nashville supposed to do with a statement like this?
“I don’t think you sign an offer sheet unless your pointing in that one direction,” Bousquet said. He added that it’s really up to the Predators, but “he’d like to play with the Philadelphia Flyers.”
It’s obvious that Weber wants to win, and win soon. What player doesn’t? I get that. What I don’t get, and am quite disillusioned by is the lack of loyalty by some players to the teams and cities that embrace them. Sports like hockey have become such a business, that the people that pay to see the players (fans) end up getting the short end of the stick. Why do you think I’ve never personally but the name of a player on the back of any sweater that I have? (The Panthers awarded me my Joe Nieuwendyck sweater a few years ago as a season seat holder).
Loyalty seems to have been replaced with the drive for the almighty dollar. The situation with Weber, his agent and the Flyers is a prime example of why I hate offer sheets. Do they have a place? I suppose that they do, but as little as they are used, when they are bad blood is created. I could care less about disliking the Flyers more than I already do. I understand the GM Paul Holmgren has a job to do, and winning championships is one of them. However to throw such a ludicrous offer at a player with the notion that his team won’t match it, to me is vulgar. In his first year Weber is slated to make $27 million dollars between salary and bonus. That better equate to a Stanley Cup championship. Which leads to my next statement. The Flyers continue to want to buy a Stanley Cup by giving out large contracts, yet the scheme hasn’t worked yet. Last year’s humongous deal for Ilya Bryzgalov is proof. And they’re stuck with him for how long?
The NHL has some issues that need to be resolved, and resolved quickly. The CBA needs to be in place so training camp begins on time. Players, and owners need to agree on a deal that makes fiscal sense, and do so quickly. Agents, and I realize that they have a place, need to negotiate contracts, and leave it at that. Mr. Bousquet and his statement of Weber’s intentions will create animosity amongst the fans and Weber even if the Predators match the offer. The intent and or thought that a hometown favorite wanted to play somewhere else, just leaves a bad taste.
Speaking oin behalf of the fans of Nashville to mr. Bousquet, I say “No Soup For You”.
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