Is Shea Weber the next Philadelphia Flyer?

Shea Weber is a name that is hauntingly beautiful to Philadelphia Flyers’ fans.

The Flyers are approaching the two-year mark this summer since they offered Weber the 14-year, $110 million dollar deal in the summer of 2012. The Nashville Predators obviously matched the deal, which is why he remains in Music City.

After the deal was matched, Weber was not allowed to be traded until a full calendar year had passed. As July 19 approached (the date in which Weber could be traded), Flyers’ fans minds began to run with the idea that a trade for Weber would happen sooner rather than later.

Now as the NHL approaches the end of the 2013-14 season, Weber remains in gold and blue, and signs point to it staying that way for the foreseeable future.

philadelphia flyers

Shea Weber

The fact remains, however, that Weber’s name will continue to be discussed in Philadelphia trade rumors until the Flyers obtain a premiere defenseman like him. Seeing as he had originally accepted a deal and expressed interest in coming to Philadelphia, fans can’t help but believe he is destined to wear an orange sweater.

So will he become a Flyer?

Here is the case for Yes:

Nashville appears to have a bright future on the blue-line. With the exception of Weber, the oldest defenseman on their NHL roster is 26-years-old, including stellar rookie Seth Jones. Seeing that would make you believe that the Predators would be more likely to let their captain go, for the right price of course.

The Flyers are also interested; that is no secret. With the salary cap increasing to $71 million starting this offseason, and the likely retirement of Kimmo Timonen ($6M/year) at the end of the season, the Flyers will likely be able to take on Weber’s large contract.

Here is the case for No:

Comcast SportsNet Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio believes that anyone not named Claude Giroux is an option to send to Nashville in return for Weber, but the price will certainly be high.

Nashville will want defense back if they are to give up Weber, among other things. One name that will certainly be in the mix is 2013 first round draft pick Sam Morin.

Morin has been wowing scouts with his size and play. At 6’7’’, he would be one of the largest defenseman in the NHL, and some scouts compare him to former Flyer Chris Pronger, one of the greatest defenseman in the past 20 years.

Along with Morin, Nashville will most likely want picks and another prospect/NHL level player. Names likely to be brought up in the latter category would be players like Nick Cousins, Brayden Schenn and Scott Laughton.

There are also lots of issues regarding Weber’s contract. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) tends to punish teams who offer contracts that are front heavy, like Weber’s.

Weber’s cap hit is the exact same every single year of his contract at $7.857 million per year. However, his salary is very different and front heavy. Between the 2014-15 and 2017-18 seasons, Weber is scheduled to make $52 million compared to only making $30 million over the last eight years on his deal.

Any contract signed before the current CBA that is longer than six years is subject to cap-advantage recapture rules. So if Weber were to retire at some point during his contract, depending on the current advantage of his contract, the team who he plays for may be required to pay a penalty each year until his deal would be up if he played the entirety of it.

The highest that penalty would be is $3.286 million/year for five years, but only if Weber retired before or during the 2021-2022 season when he would be 36-years-old.

That all seems very complicated and confusing without really looking in depth about it, but the bottom line is that it is a huge risk, and it could really hurt the Flyer’s cap space if Weber were traded to Philadelphia and retired before his contract was completed.

So again, will Weber become a Flyer?

The answer will all depend on the asking price from Nashville. If they would accept a deal for a player like Brayden Schenn/Nick Cousins, picks and a defenseman not named Morin, the Flyers should pull the trigger on the deal despite the risks down the road. However, if Nashville is looking to strip Philadelphia’s farm system of its’ top talent (Sam Morin, Scott Laughton, etc.), it is probably not worth taking the risk of depleting the teams future talent.

philadelphia flyers

Shea Weber playing for Team Canada in the Winter Olympics.

My personal belief is that Philadelphia will see Shea Weber in orange. With this team currently assembled, the thought should be that the window is opening now for championships. A majority of the top offensive talent for the Flyers is entering their prime, and Weber is as well. Philadelphia will never win a Stanley Cup until they have a top defenseman anchoring their blue-line. I think they will pull the trigger on almost any deal, as long as it’s not ridiculous.

Only time will tell, and nothing will certainly happen at this trade deadline with Shea Weber. There will always be rumors, but some are more substantial than others. This is one that seems to hold more water than most.

The offseason should be exciting, but don’t be shocked if Philadelphia decides to play it safe and avoid the possible risks of a Shea Weber trade.

HartnellDown Tracker: Scott remains at 201.

  • Preds fan

    Thats the thing though. Remember that Nashville is a small market team with a already somewhat disgruntled fan base (Im a diehard Pred fan). Shea Weber is a lot more than just another player to this franchise in many ways, he is a key piece in holding the entire Nashville Predators organization together. With the departures of Radulov, Kostitsyns, and Erat, along with a very mediocre season, Shea Weber has been one of the bright points, and is an object of adoration in Nashville, something to the loyal fans to really cling to and boast about. If Shea Weber were to be traded, especially to Philadelphia (we are still a bit sore about the offersheet meant to financially cripple another organization. Thats just low), the only name that Predators fans would except in return for our star and cornerstone player would be Claude Giroux, straight up. If thats not met, the organization would vent season ticket holders and before long there wouldnt be a Nashville predators organization. Weber can’t get traded unless it is for a name that even us southern hicks can recognize.

    • DJ

      I don’t really see the only offer you guys would be willing to accept is straight up for Giroux. I agree he is the heart of your team, and it would kill you to lose him, but you guys are so young on D and have an incredibly bright future. So if I didn’t relay it well enough, I’m just saying you guys would be more willing to negotiate. As for the offer intended to cripple an organization, I don’t think that was the case. Weber is a superstar, no doubt about it. Philly needed that superstar on D to compete, so they offered him something they didn’t think Nashville would/could match. There isn’t anything dirty about that. If you didn’t want to be burdened with that contract, you shouldn’t have matched it, but I understand; how could you let him walk?

  • Chad

    Another month, another pipe dream by a Flyers fan. We are supposed to believe that after shelling out 30 million dollars for two years, Nashville is going to reverse course and trade what some say is the best defenseman in the NHL for a couple of “they might be really good one day” projects and maybe a couple of mid first round draft picks. IF that was the goal, the Preds would have been better off taking the four first rounders in compensation. They would have the picks and 30 mill to spend. OR, if they were willing to take prospects and picks they could have traded him before there even was an offer sheet. I doubt Philly would have been the only interested party. The only way Nashville breaks even on a Weber trade with the Flyers IS Giroux. You have to give to get folks. Personally, I wouldn’t take that trade, but at least I would understand it. The only shot the Flyers have at Weber is around the 2021-2012 season when his abilities might be in decline and even then it’s doubtful. Why? Some say that Nashville will be forced to trade Weber because they simply can’t afford him. Does anybody know why Nashville ended up signing Weber to a long term, heavily front loaded contract? Because the Flyers forced them to do it! Weber’s contract is without a NTC. So guess what? If Weber is traded, he will go where Nashville wants him to go. That means the highest bidder AND a team that didn’t screw the Preds. Find another player to obsess over Flyer fans. Philadelphia will never see Weber in orange.