The Flyers awoke the boring NHL offseason with a loud boom last night. Flyers signed Weber to basically a max contract offer sheet of 14 years and 110 million dollars. Flyers set up this contract with about 26 million in the first year with bonuses paid to Weber and with about 68 million paid out within the first few years depending on which reports you read. Salary cap circumvention? If I was the NJ Devils and the NHL approves this deal I would want a real good reason why I have to give up a 1st round pick next year.
I don't know where I come down on all this I am very torn. It was fair game for the Flyers to give Weber the offer sheet, but at the same time it is kicking someone when they are down. As a Sabres fan this brings back awful memories of the 2007 offseason in which the Sabres lost Briere and Drury. The Oilers then came in and offered Vanek an outrageous offer sheet trying to steal him out of Buffalo. Now if you look at the cap hit and market Weber isn't being way overpaid for the player he is. With the loss of Suter I think the Flyers saw blood in the water in Nashville and attacked. In a way Nashville did this to themselves by playing games last season with Weber and taking him to arbitration.
I respect the Flyers for their desire to win and they are not afraid to go all in on anything. However this is where I find myself today; this is exhibit A,B, and C of why we will not have hockey until Christmas next season. Owners led heavily by Ed Snider himself are claiming they are losing money. Yet they go throw a max contract at a player and drive up the cap again. With the CBA talks Ed Snider just added another gun to Donald Fehr's holster on top of the insulting first CBA offer by the owners. Also what if in the new CBA their is a rollback of salaries like the last CBA, the Flyers are then stuck in big time cap jail with the Bryzgalov contract already on the books for the next 8 years.
From the Nashville standpoint as a small market fan with a big market owner I feel bad for what is occuring right now. If Nashville does not match the offer it could only be a matter of time before they are in danger of being moved out of Nashville. If Weber and Suter are gone, how long until Rinnie wants out? How do you explain losing two of your teams superstars to your new fan base that has started to grow of the last few years? On the other side of the coin if the Preds match they are going to be handcuffed in the future with signing their promising young players. Those people saying that they can trade Weber after one year are not using their brains. Why would Nashville pay him 26 million dollars for one year and then ship him out? Doesn't make sense from a business standpoint.
As your reading this you can probably tell my struggle to pick a side on this. In the end I think I am more on the side of the Flyers went into a grey area with this offer sheet. Sure it is not illegal, but at the same time it's a big market bullying a small market. This is not done around the league because GM's have almost an unwritten rule to not pouch on other team's young talent. The reason why perhaps the best player in the game Steven Stamkos was not given an offer sheet last season. It's frowned upon I guess be the best phrase I can use here. For example it isn't illegal to hit in the all star game, but you just don't do it. I also think this move will effect not only the Flyers and Predators, but the other 28 NHL teams as well.