Why it seems unlikely that the Nashville Predators would trade Shea Weber

Jonathan Willis
May 01 2013 08:55AM

It’s (an understandable) dream of Oilers fans to see Shea Weber traded to Edmonton. Not only is he from Western Canada, big, strong and capable, but he’d fill the #1 defenceman hole that Edmonton has had since Chris Pronger left town.

Those dreams seem destined to go unfulfilled.

Get Used To Disappointment

Why would Nashville trade one of the league’s precious few franchise defenders? The answer always seems to be “they’re a small market club and they can’t afford him.” By their actions, though, it seems clear that the Predators have decided they can’t afford not to pay him.

The Economics of a Trade

Shea Weber signed his current contract – via a Philadelphia Flyers offer sheet – on July 19, 2012, forcing the Predators to either match and hang on to Weber for at least a year, or decline to match and accept four first-round picks in exchange for Weber’s services. The Flyers made it as difficult as possible for Nashville by structuring the contract to be extremely front-loaded.

No NHL player made more money in 2012-13 than Weber. More than that, Weber’s contract is structured to be heavily bonus-intensive – featuring a $1 million base salary and a $13 million signing bonus for each of the first four years. The signing bonuses mean that by the time Weber could be traded by the Predators, they will have paid $27 million of the $110 million on his contract – just slightly under one-quarter of his total contract in the first year.

Facing a $110 million decision, one has to think the Predators weighed the cost. None of these ramifications were unknown at the time; the Predators knew what they were getting into matching that offer sheet. If it made sense to sign him then, it’s hard to imagine they’re going to change their mind and move him after having already taken the worst lumps.

Certainly that’s the message general manager David Poile has always emphasized – asked about the possibility of a trade by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman in April, he made no secret as to his view:

We have a franchise goaltender and the best defenceman in the NHL ... We are building our team around them.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: either the Predators made a terrible mistake, Poile’s being disingenuous, and the team plans to try and get a better return than four first round picks after spending $27 million for 48 games or they really have no plans to trade Weber. The latter seems more likely to be reality than the former. None of that means the Oilers shouldn't ask, but it does mean not much is likely to come of it. 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 719
May 01 2013, 11:01PM
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If we had Weber, we would not trade him, so I don't see how Nashville would either.

I came up with an idea, not sure if it would work.

We trade our 7th and Eric Belanger to Tampa Bay for their 3rd and Vinny Lecavalier. Hear me out before you kabosh this.

This is done with the understanding the Oilers will use a compliance buyout on Vinny. Vinny is then free to sign with TB for a much friendlier cap hit, and TB will out of cap hell. The Lightning, from everything I have read, cannot afford to compliance buyout Vinny, and even if they could would not retain him as he would be a UFA who could sign with any team but TB.

We help TB out, the Oilers draft Barkov 3rd overall, TB still gets a good player at 7, and they are out of cap hell, with Vinny still on their roster.

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#152 jonnyquixote
May 01 2013, 11:07PM
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Because they've benefited heavily (cap wise) from Weber's front-loaded contract, if Weber retires before it's completed, wouldn't the Predators risk being severely punished with dead cap space under the CBA's new rules? If so, they might need to hang onto him for the bulk of that deal to protect themselves.

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#153 jonnyquixote
May 01 2013, 11:10PM
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@719

So in your plan, the Oilers pay $30,000,000 to move up 4 spaces in the draft?

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#154 Wax Man Riley
May 02 2013, 12:11AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

DSF wrote:
In the last 6 years, disregarding the 1st overall picks who could have been selected by Maggie the Money, the Oilers have drafted TWO NHL players and one of those players, Paajarvi, would be in the AHL on any good NHL team. In the same time frame, Montreal has drafted 7 players who are already established NHL players with Tinordi and Beaulieu very close. That the Habs accomplished that while drafting much lower than the Oilers gives you a pretty good idea about the skill of their amateur scouts. Good grief...the Oilers had THREE first round picks in 2007 and all of them look like mistakes.
So the Oilers have to throw out their first rounder while Montreal gets to keep them? If you take away their last three first round picks like you want to do for Edmonton you are left with ONLY 2007 picks and Gallagher. What have the Oilers picked since 2007 if you subtract their last three firsts? MPS, Eberle, Gagner, with Hartikainen and Lander with a shot at becoming regulars and a hndful of Defensemen with a reasonable chance at becoming NHL players. You want to stack the deck on MTLs favor before comparing, but when you do the comparison fairly there is not much to separate the teams. Subban was a fantastic find, but other than that I don't see the evidence of a vastly superior scouting group.

BOOM!!!!

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#155 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 12:54AM
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719 wrote:

If we had Weber, we would not trade him, so I don't see how Nashville would either.

I came up with an idea, not sure if it would work.

We trade our 7th and Eric Belanger to Tampa Bay for their 3rd and Vinny Lecavalier. Hear me out before you kabosh this.

This is done with the understanding the Oilers will use a compliance buyout on Vinny. Vinny is then free to sign with TB for a much friendlier cap hit, and TB will out of cap hell. The Lightning, from everything I have read, cannot afford to compliance buyout Vinny, and even if they could would not retain him as he would be a UFA who could sign with any team but TB.

We help TB out, the Oilers draft Barkov 3rd overall, TB still gets a good player at 7, and they are out of cap hell, with Vinny still on their roster.

Awesome, I like that idea. You put some thought into that and it looks good from both sides.

Have to see what that buyout looks like first. but the Oilers did flush nearly 9 million down the toilet on Souray.

wow, that's a 36 million dollar favor. That's scrapping off the operating profit for one whole yr in the new rink (if it happens)

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#156 Walter Sobchak
May 02 2013, 01:12AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Awesome, I like that idea. You put some thought into that and it looks good from both sides.

Have to see what that buyout looks like first. but the Oilers did flush nearly 9 million down the toilet on Souray.

wow, that's a 36 million dollar favor. That's scrapping off the operating profit for one whole yr in the new rink (if it happens)

You see TB is a bad idea, and this is why.

You trade for Vinny L. then you buy him out, but there is no guarantee he re-sign's with TB, further more, they still have to sign him, most likely at around 3.0 million on the cheap.

Where as, you draft Mackinnon and he comes at you for a grand total of 3.175 million.......and he's like 200 some years younger.

TB wont do this, back to the drawing board.

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#157 Walter Sobchak
May 02 2013, 01:15AM
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719 wrote:

If we had Weber, we would not trade him, so I don't see how Nashville would either.

I came up with an idea, not sure if it would work.

We trade our 7th and Eric Belanger to Tampa Bay for their 3rd and Vinny Lecavalier. Hear me out before you kabosh this.

This is done with the understanding the Oilers will use a compliance buyout on Vinny. Vinny is then free to sign with TB for a much friendlier cap hit, and TB will out of cap hell. The Lightning, from everything I have read, cannot afford to compliance buyout Vinny, and even if they could would not retain him as he would be a UFA who could sign with any team but TB.

We help TB out, the Oilers draft Barkov 3rd overall, TB still gets a good player at 7, and they are out of cap hell, with Vinny still on their roster.

The Predator need to make the playoffs now, and can't afford to pay Weber, that's why.

Look at the links I provided,it tells you a big reason why he will be traded.

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#158 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2013, 01:53AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The Predator need to make the playoffs now, and can't afford to pay Weber, that's why.

Look at the links I provided,it tells you a big reason why he will be traded.

Agreed, Eberle and Gagner would look pretty good in their top 6 right about now. Spreading the wealth so to speak.

Ebs,Gags,Nicky Schultz and the Oils first rounder in 14 for that guy who wears No.6 on their blueline. Sucks to have to surrender Eberle but Weber would lead this current group of blueliners to respectability.

Appears as though we're right back to page 1 on this article again.

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#159 Walter Sobchak
May 02 2013, 04:24AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Agreed, Eberle and Gagner would look pretty good in their top 6 right about now. Spreading the wealth so to speak.

Ebs,Gags,Nicky Schultz and the Oils first rounder in 14 for that guy who wears No.6 on their blueline. Sucks to have to surrender Eberle but Weber would lead this current group of blueliners to respectability.

Appears as though we're right back to page 1 on this article again.

I'm not keen on Eberle, I realize we have to give something to get something but.....I don't think I could stomach Eberle going.

I also realize that the Predator would want scoring as well as defensive help.

This is a no joke trade, but to get Weber would take a 4 to 1 trade IMO

Along the line's of Petry - Gagner - Paajarvi and most likely a top flight prospect like Musil or Marincin....plus 2014 first & 2015 first, you have to out do the other 29 teams.

You have to remember Predators said no to a trade involving B.Schenn and S.Couturier

https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/226010152325742592

This is why it's critical the Oilers move up in the draft and get a center so they can deal Gagner and go after Weber.

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#160 messyEH!
May 02 2013, 06:14AM
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DSF wrote:

1) Gagner was NOT a great pick.

PPG

Couture - .720

Voracek - .624

Gagner - .623

Pacioretty - .621

Gagner has more raw points because he was gifted huge, prime, sheltered minutes early on. And that doesn't even take into account Shattenkirk and Subban who both would have been a better pick.

2) Eberle is covering his bet but Derek Stepan, who was selected last in the second round is quickly overtaking him. A solid pick but Stepan is the steal of that draft.

3) The Paajarvi pick is almost a "whiff" at this point.

Kulikov, Leddy, Johansson, O'Reilly, Silvferberg, Clifford, Smith and Foligno would have been much better picks and all of them were selected much later than Magnus.

4) Klefbom has yet to play a pro game in North America but I'm thinking he'll have a tough time surpassing Brandon Saad in the foreseeable future.

The Oilers didn't blow the #1 picks too badly but they are hardly killing it with any other picks.

Your really bad at this game. You realize in a "redraft" that MPS and Gagner would be selected around the same draft position. Now the Nash and Plante picks are terrible. But you wouldn't be insulting our current team. So for alk the examples of how incompetent the oilers are. You have managed to use the one matrix that makes it seem that they mayhave known what they were doing.

Come on. Tell me about how Parise could have been ours but we took JFJ instead. Or lets discuss Horcoffs contract.

Good grief your slipping, or getting lazy.

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#161 719
May 02 2013, 11:01AM
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I should have added this to my original idea:

In real dollars to buy out Lecavlier is 1.95 million over 12 years, because his contract was so front loaded. (35 million left on the contract x 2/3 over double length on the contract). Yes that is a lot of money I agree, but weren't we supposed to be a high spending team? It would basically cost us 21 million to move up 4 spots in the draft (when you subtract the belanger contract) and doesn't cost us anything on the cap.

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#162 719
May 02 2013, 11:08AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The Predator need to make the playoffs now, and can't afford to pay Weber, that's why.

Look at the links I provided,it tells you a big reason why he will be traded.

I read your original message with links, and you do make a valid point.

Would he be happy on the Oilers? I know last year when he was talking to teams, he didn't talk to the Oilers.

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#163 Rama Lama
May 02 2013, 03:18PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Maybe someone should ask Taylor Hall if he wants to wait yet another 3 or 4 yrs for the Schultz,Klefbom and Mirincin types to round into form.

Do you believe we have that much time before the cracks in this new foundation start to show?

Maybe we should ask Hall which of his linemates he would dispense with so we can get a defenseman that can assume the number one defense spot......assuming we can find this individual.

There are no number one defenseman that teams are willing to part with, that is the problem..........we got lucky in getting Pronger, last time I checked, there are not too many of those types kicking around.

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