Flyers make big move

Weber
Oh yeah, National Hockey League owners need contract concessions from the Players Association … for the good of the game, and all that.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville Predators defenceman Shea Weber (Josh Gorges’ D partner with the Kelowna Rockets) to a $100 million offer sheet.
Weber would fill the vacancy on the Philadelphia blueline created by Chris Pronger’s injury and Matt Carle’s departure to Tampa Bay.

The story from Philadelphia.

The contract would cover 14 years … this while the NHL is seeking a five-year limit on contracts.

According to (Darren) Dreger, the deal may be structured in a way that would prevent a small-market club like Nashville from matching the offer, by way of $26 million in signing bonuses between now and July 1, 2013. That may be tough for Nashville to match, since they would be forking over nearly 16 percent of their entire franchise’s net worth ($163 million in 2011 according to Forbes magazine) in one calendar year.

Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun on Twitter: I’ve seen coaches lose the dressing room. But I think we’re watching Gary Bettman lose the board room.

And Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: First Suter. Now Weber. That ‘Predators’ tag is looking, well, a little bit ironic?

944 Comments

  1. Selkie says:

    webber traded in 6-8 years with no cup and a big waste of money ha ha ah

  2. JayK-47 says:

    New thread up.

    But I think we can hit a 1,000 here.

  3. kempie says:

    TJ Oshie signs with STL for 5 years at $4.175 per.

  4. 24 Cups says:

    Let’s forget the money and any sense of fair play in the Weber signing.

    Holmgren certainly has the stones to make the moves he feels are necessary. Pronger is basiclly retired. Weber is in danger of going to New York, Pittsburgh or Detroit. Holmgren is able to use the Pronger/Timonen future cap space to sign Weber for ten years (in reality) which takes Weber to 37. Without Weber, there is no Cup in Philly during the next five years. Without a Cup, Holmgren is eventually gone and Ed Snider is on the clock in terms of life expectancy.

    From that framework, it all begins to make sense.

    What about the five, lower half draft picks? That’s another story for another day.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t fault Holmgren in the least for trying to find a way to land the best defenceman in hockey. That team is very close to winning and Weber should help. I just have to imagine that Holmgren wishes that Snider hadn’t been so hot to trot for Bryzgalov. (rumour was that Snider was more behind that signing than Holmgren was)

      • 24 Cups says:

        Agreed. It’s much like the Kolvalchuk signing in New Jersey. Or with Buffalo last summer.

        Any team can find a decent goalie over a short period of time. Snider hit the panic button. Worse case scenario being that he would have waited Bryzgalov out for a few days/weeks and then gone for shorter term. Or traded for one of the good kids that are on the goalie market.

        BTW, my golf game has gone to hell. Gomez getting a hole in one certainly doesn’t help.

        Don’t tell anyone on the site but the rumour mill has Sergei Samsonov coming back to Montreal on a one year deal to play LW.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        “I don’t fault Holmgren in the least…”

        I agree and would add that if any team can “afford” to give up 4 1st round picks, it’s the team that made the second round last season with half a dozen rookies in important roles.

  5. ABHabsfan says:

    So if Nashville opts to match the offer, can Weber refuse to sign it? What would happen then? I assume he would have to sit out the season but with labour strife on the horizon, maybe not a bad option for a guy who clearly has no interest in playing in Nashville. Weber could really piss in Poile’s pickles if he went down that road

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • commandant says:

      No, Weber cannot refuse.

      If Nashville matches, he’s a predator for at least one calendar year.

      If Weber doesn’t show up he forfeits 27 million dollars over the course of the first calendar year, never to see that money again.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      My understanding is that he can’t refuse. Weber either plays for Nashville or Philly, at the exact salary stipulated in the offer sheet.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  6. ABHabsfan says:

    So my new/adopted hometown of Kawarhta Lakes Ontario aka Lindsay, is up against Trenton tomorrow for the Kraft Tour thing from TSN. The local Rugby Club is the beneficiary and is spearheading this initiative. If any of you have the inclination to vote and help these kids out in Lindsay, it would be greatly appreciated. Just go to http://www.kraftcelebrationtour.ca/. The Rugby Club in Lindsay has produced some terrific players, a couple of whom currently play for Canada. There are a lot of kids in this area that cold use a little direction, and being part of clubs and playing team sports goes a long way to keeping them on the right path. Thanks!
    Apologies for the non-hockey related post.

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • kempie says:

      Welcome to the neighbourhood.

    • savethepuck says:

      Did not know Trenton was even in the running. I’m an army brat leaving in the Maritimes now, but lived in Trenton as a kid from 74 to 77. Played my minor hockey for the Trenton Rangers way back before, I guess, Trenton and Belleville joined forces to become the same minor hockey league.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  7. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Does this Weber deal prove that player don’t really need any of that UFA status, or arbitration rights to get paid fairly? :)

  8. Habilis says:

    This is off topic but it made me laugh:

    Scott Gomez won a new, US$50,000 Acura MD X Thursday when he hit a hole-in-one at his own Scotty Gomez Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament.

    If the worst happens and there’s an NHL work stoppage, maybe Gomez goes for his tour card. Maybe he gets it. Maybe he turns into an amazing golfer and only comes back to Montreal when the Canadian Open is held here. Maybe.

  9. Phil C says:

    These offer sheets would be a lot more interesting if there was not so much cap room. Because the cap went up by $6M, every team has the room to match most offer sheets. If the cap ever goes down and teams get into salary cap trouble, it will be more interesting.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is astonishing how much the cap has increased since the lockout. Hard to imagine that next year the Toronto Maple Leafs could in theory have a larger payroll than the Toronto Blue Jays. Given the magnitude of money in Baseball, there is no way those two payrolls should be in the same bracket.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Given Nashville has 7 days to decide what to do, is it known forsure yet whether the NHL has rubberstamped the format of the contract offered by Philly? If not, is there a timeline for when they rule on that?

    • commandant says:

      it obeys all the rules under the kovalchuk ruling

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think it will get passed, just didn’t know if the NHL has officially done so yet, or if they have a date set when it will be officially blessed.
        Edit: But did Kovalchuk have such a huge signing bonus in years 1 and 2?

        • commandant says:

          its still at or below the league max for any given year so its fine

          The issue with kovalchuk was there were no term limits on contracts, the kovalchuk rule did that by redifining the cap hits on any deal after the age of 40.

          all the other rules (ie max money allowed per year) were well defined in the CBA

          The Flyers obeyed all the well defined rules

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

  11. JohnBellyful says:

    Rumour has it Poile locked himself in his office the whole day and the only sounds to be heard were a bunch of Carrie Underwood tunes being played over and over again: Blown Away, What Can I Say, Undo It, and Jesus, Take the Wheel.
    Another rumour making the rounds is that the Discovery channel is putting together a documentary on Nashville: When Predators Become Prey

  12. joeybarrie says:

    so the weber deal is 4 first. I thought it was 2 firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd.
    I havent been following. What’s the story?

  13. HardHabits says:

    Earlier on commandant wrote a piece on offer sheets. I asked why Phil Kessel wasn’t mentioned and the reply was that Kessel was traded. Well. Yeah.

    It was only a trade because of Burke’s anathema to offer sheets after his experience with (Kevin Lowe of) the Oiler’s making an offer sheet for Penner that Burke didn’t or couldn’t match when he was with Anaheim. Burke tied his own hands with his outburst after that incident so when he went after Kessel a few years later he paid more than an offer sheet would have cost him because of it. I think this needs to be mentioned because it speaks to the narrative of the dangers of throwing away picks on signings, whether through trade or offer sheets.

    As far as Weber is concerned and from the stand point of Nashville, no question, do not match. If the player didn’t sign he’s already gone. Very few teams can get 4 first round picks, even if late first picks, for a player. The objective is for Nashville to Tank™ now, which they will, and start the rebuild proper. They blew their load on their last play-off run, if you want to call it that, by losing in the 1st round. They traded picks like they were drunken sailors for a 1st round exit. They should think about spending money on drafting and scouts rather than match that offer sheet.

    They lost Suter. Now they will lose Weber. Bite the bullet and rebuild. They will have 4 years of two picks in the 1st round and they can also trade Rinne when his contract nears expiring. All while living off of shared revenues from Montreal, Toronto, and New York. Too bad they didn’t trade Suter. Probably would have made it to the 2nd round.

    The Flyers though have a team that will be a power house, minus the goaltending, immediately. It is a heavy cost but they have players of value they can flip to restock on picks. Their time is now. Weber is even a great player to build a team around, kind of like Chara was for Boston. Yep. If the Flyers can get goal-tending they should appear in the Stanley Cup Finals again soon. Probably lose again, but that’s been their story since 1976.

    I think the Habs need to stand pat until they clear the Gomez, Kaberle, Markov, and Gionta contracts. Montreal looks very much like an up and coming organization and could be very strong in a few years with its young core that is being built through their system. With the 20+ million cleared the Habs then would be in a position to make a splash in free agency. Then if they can, sign a generational player for mega-bucks. But Montreal is not there yet.

    Toronto was never there and Kessel is not a player to build a team around.

    Philadelphia is there and Weber is the kind of player to build around.

    Nashville will be challenging Columbus and Edmonton for top draft lottery honours next season.

    • JayK-47 says:

      Good point. Nashville has already lost Suter and Radulov for nothing and about to lose AKos and Weber. Having Gaustad and four 1st-rounders to show for it while saving some money for a year or two would probably be in their best interest. They need to rebuild and maybe a 2013 lottery pick will assuage the pain of 2012.

    • commandant says:

      Nashville did make the second round

      Also Weber signing an offersheet doesnt mean he’s already gone. See my piece again and guys like Stevens “trying to leave” Jersey, Sakic “trying to leave” Colorado, and Fedorov trying to leave Detroit

      Thats a total of 6 cups for those 3 guys with the team that matched after they tried to leave

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      HH: Why didn’t you include Kessel?

      C: Because it wasn’t an offer sheet.

      HH: Yeah but that’s because Burke doesn’t like offer sheets.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      The details of the Kessel deal don’t even matter. This is the situation:

      The Nashville Predators can have their choice of:
      A} Shea Weber
      OR
      B} Four 1st round draft picks.

      How we arrived at this point makes ABSOLUTELY no difference.

      ANY trade of any player for draft picks is fair game for comparison.

      • commandant says:

        option C ) trade the 4 first rounders back to Philly for something else

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Option C would see Nashville receive a combination of players/picks/prospects that both the Predators and the Flyers perceive to have exactly the same value as four 1st round draft picks.

          *”The Nashville Predators can have their choice of:
          A} Shea Weber
          OR
          B} Four 1st round draft picks.”*…

          …or something with EXACTLY the same value as option “B” which is still the same decision as “A” v. “B”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can you also explain how you sell to an non traditional hockey market that 6-8 years from now these 4 first round picks will pay off dividends? I don’t believe the owner of the Preds is running a non profit business.

    • savethepuck says:

      No offense to you because I enjoy your posts and opinions, but I remember earlier you saying to the other guy, nobody comes on here to read a TOME.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • HardHabits says:

        That was sarcasm. I enjoy most of Un Canadien errant’s posts, minus his penchant for sounding like Mr. Gauthier, and even when I find him to be a bit wordy or pedantic, still think he has a lot to offer. I like taking digs at UCe because he is a good sport and I am just trying to help him be an even better writer than he already is.

        And my comment isn’t really that much of a tome. Chris and UCe easily out-tome me.

        Glad you enjoy my comments. Thanks.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    Sorry, but I have to chuckle. Weber is greedy for taking this deal? LOL.

    Is Crosby greedy? Stamkos? Suter? Parise? Kolvalchuk? Nash? Vinny? Tom Cruise? Jennifer Lopez?

    Let’s get real here. Beliveau, Richard and Roy all would have left Montreal to take the same kind of deal.

    • commandant says:

      Beliveau refused to leave Quebec City until we opened the vault for him.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • JohnBellyful says:

        “Of course, it wasn’t my long-term ambition to remain in Quebec City forever, making more and more money each year. As my second season with the Aces progressed, I sensed it was time to move on, to test myself on the next rung of the ladder.”
        – Jean Beliveau, My Life in Hockey
        He was making $20,000 a year, and for a short time, was earning more than Gordie Howe and the Rocket.

        • 24 Cups says:

          We’re not talking the 50′s, we’re talking the here and now. There may be an exception or two, but I would venture that 95% of today’s NHLers would do what Weber just did.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I’m not talking the ’50s and I don’t disagree with your characterization of NHL players, I’m merely providing context. I’m not the one who brought up an icon from the past to make a point.

          • JayK-47 says:

            He’s talkin’ 40′s here see?! And if you soggy whiskey wagons know what’s good, you’ll clam up or it’ll be fisticuffs and stars you’ll be seein’ next, hear?

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Jay, is that the whiskey talkin’?

          • 24 Cups says:

            Fair enough, JB.

            My only pont is that there is hardly any player (in any sport) from any time period that would not have gone after a deal like this.

            If my son is Shea Weber, he’s taking 110M. Even if it means playing hockey with a Scientology sponsored cult NHL franchise located in Gilman Hot Springs.

          • JayK-47 says:

            NO! I’m at work!

            Maybe a lil…

            Yes.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Two-four, you’re right about hardly any player in any era would have refused a deal of this magnitude. But next time, please use somebody despicable like Bobby Clarke or Billy Smith to make your point when the subject is as crass as ridiculous salaries.
            Le Gros Bill — he’s a saint for gawdsakes!!! :)
            .

          • 24 Cups says:

            After careful debate, i would like to substitute Guy Lafleur’s name for that of Jean Beliveau.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Yesssss!

        • commandant says:

          John, I love Beliveau and he is one of the greatest human beings alive

          But lets be honest

          That was written with the benefit of hindsight, if the Aces matched montreal’s offer for the third straight year he would have had something more to think about

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • commandant says:

            Remember too, its not a criticism of him… he was loyal to the Aces (his team) not the Habs (who he had only played a couple tryout games for) at that point in his career.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • JohnBellyful says:

            True, Ben, he would have had more to think about, but with Jean, I prefer to believe the ‘more to think about’ would have included considerations of a selfless nature and not a case of merely viewing the decision through the prism of financial reward. I believe there are people in the world who are not ruled by mammon. I am willing to accept Jean’s explanation that more than material gain was behind his choosing to accept the Canadiens’ offer.

            Edit: I tend to get sensitive about perceived slights of one’s idol when none was intended.

          • commandant says:

            As I said John, Mr. Beliveau’s loyalty was with Quebec (his team) not Montreal (the suitor) at that point in his life.

            He wasnt really a loyal Hab until after he signed the deal

            It isn’t a slight to Jean Beliveau’s character to believe he may have returned to the Aces if they matched. In fact many would see that as a reaffirmation of his loyal nature

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I understand, Ben, his loyalty was to the Aces at the time and not to Montreal
            but saying he refused to leave Quebec City until the Canadiens opened the vault seemed to reduce his motivation for leaving to mercenary instincts, when I like to think there was more to it than that. But I realize I’m being overly-protective of Jean’s reputation when he needs no protecting from the likes of me.

          • commandant says:

            As Ive said many times, there is nothing disloyal about leaving for a megaoffer. Its just human nature.

            Even moreso in the 50s when Beliveau had to work during the summer to supplement his hockey income and feed his family.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Crosby and Stamkos didn’t leave their teams for more money. Neither did Nash.

      Not sure what Tom Cruise and J Lo did.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • 24 Cups says:

        You missed my point.

        It’s all about the money.

        That also goes for Hamrlik, Gomez, Gionta, Cammy, Spacek, Cole, Price and Prust. Subban soon to follow.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Except it isn’t.

          Money’s part of the equation obviously but a sellout (and I’m not saying Weber is one) is someone who places money above all other ethical and emotional considerations. None of the people you listed are sellouts.


          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Sellout? What the hell does that mean?

            Did Cole sell out Carolina for an extra mil a season? Spacek for an extra year? Gionta because no other team in the league would go to 5M? Hamrlik so he could get four years? Gomez after winning two Cups and being a team “leader”? Cammy after playing the Toronto/Montreal card?

            Hockey players are entertainers. They are no different than Cruise, Lopez or American Idol. They have a defined career life span and it follows the money.

            Let’s say Carey Price was able to be a total RFA. Along comes Columbus and says we’ll give you 9M a year for 12 years. Guess what? He’s gone.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So why did the lifetime Cardinal Albert Pujols leave St. Louis, because L.A. offered him term and money, (also had a sleazy agent who benefitted greatly from the contract to help his own business) ie. cuz of the money.

  15. RC-51 says:

    Montreal Canadiens forward Scott Gomez wins car at own celebrity golf event in Alaska.

  16. commandant says:

    For Trini and others

    I’m more worried Nashville matches and Philly offer sheets Subban next than the Nashville offer sheeting Subban scenario

    Not saying its a big possibility, its still unlikely IMO

    But its more likely than Nashville

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  17. frankcasting says:

    Wonder how PK will look in yellow … maybe there’s a reason he hasn’t signed yet?

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • commandant says:

      not happening for reasons we went over already

      I’m more worried about orange

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • savethepuck says:

      I can’t get over the number of posters on here that think that because PK hasn’t signed yet, he’s probably going to be in a trade. I am sure that if someone was to be traded, he’d be easier to trade if the trading partner knew how much money he was making, and for how long. We went through this 2 years ago when Price was in the same situation, and he didn’t sign until early Sept. PK is a Hab, he’ll be a Hab for a long time, he’s going nowhere.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  18. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    more to add in the big, nasty, partially psychotic Blue-liner saga:

    what would it take to pry Braydon Coburn from the Flyers??

  19. savethepuck says:

    Not all, but I notice some posters, are referring to Weber as greedy for accepting the offer sheet. He has no loyalty to the organization that drafted him or their fans. What else was he supposed to do? I would bet the same posters saying this are the same ones that are quick to include Markov ( 14 years a Hab ) and Plex ( 10 years a Hab ) in their trade scenarios. It has to go both ways with the loyalty thing. I am one who appreciates what these 2 have done for our organization, and am not looking to throw them to the curb.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • commandant says:

      Every single one of those posters would leave their job if you offered them 110 million to do so

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Hear hear.

      The simple fact is that Shea Weber got drafted by a team that never managed to convince him to stay and sign a long-term contract. He used his rights as a restricted free agent to sign an offer sheet with a team he wanted to play for.

      Tampa Bay managed to hang on to Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis and now Steven Stamkos, Phoenix has Shane Doan who never wants to leave…. Somehow Nashville didn’t do its job with Ryan Suter and now Shea Weber.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        In fairness, they sure tried. They signed Rinne. They went all-in this year and last trading draft picks for rentals. It just didn’t work out for them.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          You’re right that they did. I should probably have written that Nashville just didn’t get the job done, instead of “didn’t do it’s job”.

  20. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    I wonder how Sergei Kostitsyn would look in a Nordiques sweater…….

  21. JayK-47 says:

    What are the odds next year goes to a lock-out because of the Weber offer sheet?

    If Nashville takes the picks, they’ll have 2 balls in the draft lottery.

    Just food for thought.

  22. ed lopaz says:

    the trading back the 4 first rounders to Philly for something better is EXACTLY how this will play out.

    Everyone will save face with that trade.

    Nashville will get 2 excellent young NHL roster players and then 2 prospects.

  23. ont fan says:

    Listening to Webers agent Bousquet. Weber sure doesn’t want to stay in Nashville. Went to 5 teams. Philly is where he wants to be. If Suter stays so would Weber.

  24. commandant says:

    On Stevens vs Gonchar

    Conn Smythe Trophy
    2 time NHL first Allstar team (meaning he was a top 2 dman in the league)
    3 time NHL 2nd allstar team (meaning he was a top 4 dman in the league)
    3 time Norris Finalist (two 2nd place finishes, 1 third)

    vs

    2 time 2nd allstar team
    0 Norris nominations.

    I’ll take Scott Stevens, thank you very much.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Don’t forget Stevens’ 3 Cups to Gonchar’s 1

    • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

      preach!

    • Chris says:

      I would take Stevens too. But it isn’t by the landslide that people make it out to be.

      They are hard to compare offensively because of their eras. Stevens racked up huge point totals in the 1980′s when points were easy to come by. But look how his point total plummeted after 1993-94.

      Age 18-30: 150 goals 672 points 911 games
      Age 31-35: 21 goals 127 points 365 games

      When he should have been in his prime, his goal production suddenly dropped to about 1/3 of what it had been in the run-and-gun era and his point production dropped to about half of what it had been. Part of that was the stifling defensive system of the Devils, part of it was an increased focus by Stevens on becoming a dominant defensive defenceman and part of it was simply the NHL itself. The league saw an average of about 7.5 goals per game (both teams) from 1982-83 to 1992-93, which then dropped sharply to about 6 goals per game from 1993-94 to 1996-97 (around the time that Gonchar made his debut). By the time Gonchar became a regular, the NHL had fully entered the dead-puck era of 1997-98 to the lockout, where the average goals per game total had plummeted down to about 5.3 goals per game.

      If you adjust the scoring for the era, Gonchar’s point total becomes very impressive, arguably Hall of Fame impressive. This is why I think he was so seriously underrated. He finished second to one of the top defencemen to ever play the game (Lidstrom) over a decade.

      Stevens wasn’t in the same class as the dominant offensive defencemen of his first decade in the league (Bourque, MacInnis, Leetch, Housley, Coffey, Suter).

      Stevens gets the nod for me for two reasons: he never had a “minus” season in his entire 22 year career. That is ludicrous.

      Secondly, Stevens’ 1993-94 seasons was one of the best seasons every posted by a defenceman. He was just absolutely and utterly dominant that year…nobody was even close to his all-around game.

      • commandant says:

        I didnt look at their point totals, I looked at the number of times during their careers they were considered to be top defencemen in the NHL vs their peers

        Norris voting Stevens

        Stevens
        84-85: 5th
        86-87: 7th
        87-88: 2nd
        88-89: 10th
        90-91: 7th
        91-92: 4th
        93-94: 2nd
        96-97: 5th
        97-98: 4th
        98-99: 6th
        00-01: 3rd

        vs

        Gonchar
        99-00: 5th
        00-01: 6th
        01-02: 4th
        02-03: 4th
        03-04: 9th
        06-07: 7th

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Chris says:

          When Lidstrom gets nominated for a Hart Trophy, I’ll take trophy voting into account. :)

          The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association votes on both those awards, and they completely wet the bed by never nominating Lidstrom. I question their judgement in other awards based on that.

          Stevens was better. But even that list shows that there wasn’t a huge difference between them. Stevens had a couple of seasons where he spiked to the top based on huge offensive seasons. Gonchar led the league in points twice and was second twice. Yet he never got higher than 4th in Norris balloting?

          In 2007-08, Gonchar finished:

          14th in goals
          2nd in points
          20th in +/-
          8th in ice time
          2nd in PP ice time
          21st in SH ice time

          Gonchar did everything for the Penguins, a team that went to the Stanley Cup finals. And he didn’t even warrant a top-10 placement?

          EDIT: I realize that you omitted that year by accident…Gonchar actually did finish 4th in 2007-08, behind Lidstrom, PHANEUF (!!!???!!!) and Chara. That’s a great example…Gonchar was better than Phaneuf in almost every metric and was playing for a better team, yet the writers went for the “sexy” pick in Phaneuf.

          A couple of nice comparables in terms of Norris Trophy voting to Gonchar:

          Larry Murphy

          80-81: 7th
          86-87: 3rd
          91-92: 5th
          92-93: 3rd
          94-95: 4th
          97-98: 6th
          98-99: 11th

          Serge Savard

          72-73: 6th
          74-75: 5th
          75-76: 5th
          76-77: 5th
          77-78: 8th
          78-79: 4th
          :)

  25. habstrinifan says:

    Well Poile, Nashville, I tried. You’re on your own. I dont know what you do to keep hockey alive there now. I just wanted to see Carrie Underwood sitting in the front row or singing the anthem one day.

  26. RobertAlanFord says:

    Who’s running the show in Philly? Kevin Lowe?
    Horrible contract. Horrible negotiation tactics. Just plain horrible for hockey. I’ve also lost a bit of respect for Shea Weber for accepting this.
    It’s yet another ridiculous, front loaded contract with bonuses coming out the wazoo. This is a real crappy way to force someone into a trade with a time limit. This is gonna cause a bit of a stir in the free agent and trade market as well. Thanx a bunch Holmgren!!!
    I guess Bergevin had good reason to file for arbitration with Carey after all. Time to file with Subban before someone gets anymore bright ideas.

    @RAFord77
    bleublancetrouge.ca

    • bart says:

      All I can say is, I have no respect for Weber, the greedy bastard! This kind of a deal could hamstring the Flyers is things don’t work out. And I have zero respect for the Flyers….what a lousy thing to do to the Preds and hockey as a whole!! Owners, players….no diff. They’re all vultures. Since when is any half-educated hockey player worth more han an ER RN????? What’s wrong with our value system? Gee, wouldn’t it be irony if Weber suffered a Pacoretty injury, ending his career, and Philly was left holding the bag? It would serve them right! Though no one wants to see that kind of thing happen….

      • commandant says:

        Get 20,000 people to pay an average of 100 bucks for tickets, sell hot dogs and beer, and sell a massive tv contract to get people watch an RN at work, and maybe they can make as much as a hockey player.

        Of course its not just athletes.

        What about rock stars, and movie stars. Are they greedy bastards too?

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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  27. habs11s says:

    It seems now that Edmonton and Columbus will have company in the race for the #1 overall section in the 2013 draft…
    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  28. NCRhabsfan says:

    I think this is just plain old fashioned bad for hockey.

  29. frontenac1 says:

    Happened before! Read Commandants excellent reasearch.If Preds feel he is the future franchise guy,money will be found .IMO.

  30. habs11s says:

    All these long term contracts will make the “Free Agency Frenzy” on TSN in a few years more boring then it is now… the HORROR….

    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  31. frontenac1 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Preds match the offer. Hola!

  32. habstrinifan says:

    OK Here goes! I need help on this post. But if you cant answer in the spirit of a discussion please move on.

    A)I was listening to Mitch Melnick interview Dreger re the Weber deal. They seemed to hint that a trade between the two teams is still an option. I thought it was either Nashville matches or they lose Weber????

    B)On that same show both Dreger and Melnick agreed that the ‘offer sheet’ tool should be more widely used by NHL GM’s … it is after all a tool. I agree. They brought up P.K.’s name.

    Preamble: Nashville doesnt match.. either because they can’t afford it or because of the ‘sour taste’ aspect of an the ‘broken’ relationship between Weber and Nashville.. and thus the ‘fan base’. He doesnt want to be here ..we dont want him we’ll take the picks.

    What does Nashville need? They need to capitalize on the situation. They need to keep their fans’ interest (awakened by this news) glued to developments in the coming weeks. They need to foster optimism and enthusiasm.

    I say they go out and tender a ‘marquee type RFA’ who would arouse interest an offer sheet. Now I am told that Nashville does not have their 2 and 3rd rnd picks. I am assuming they have their OWN next 2 first rnd picks. If they dont this becomes moot.. would be too hard to swing.

    I also did research re the RFA compensation. Teams can REACQUIRE their draft picks and use them as compensation. Also if you owe 4 picks you DO NOT NEED TO MEET that obligation all in the next two years..it’s complicated but….

    See where I am heading… no!

    Well if I were Poile, I tender P.K Subban one of the following offers for say 5-7 yrs

    lower offer if P.K accepts $6,728,/yr :compensation 1st round pick, 2nd, 3rd
    higher offer if they need to $7mill: compensation Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rd..(** maybe not doable)).

    Suddenly P.K is making least 6.728 mill/yr for say 6 yrs. That’s huge money.

    I have already detailed why this will be a great PR move by Nashville and while they wont be replacing Weber they would be able to sell P.K’s style etc to their fans and he is in fact a good rising ‘option’.

    Nashville will have to reacquire their 2nd rnd pick or use the 2nd rnd pick of 2014. Fly in the ointment IS that Habs has it I think. But hey if Mtl sees no way out then they would benefit from trading it back. Again I cant find the status of all of Nashville’s ‘designated picks. 2 1ST-2ND-3RD.

    Mtl will match you say. If I were Poile I would be thinking who cares. Let them.. heck they will have that same sour taste .. And as for P.K Subban… he gains at least a 6.5 millcontract which he wouldn’t have had under any other circumstances.

    Anyone with info re Nashville’s picks and full understanding of the ‘grace period’ to fulfill pick obligations.

    • Bripro says:

      Why are you shopping PK? And he’s not worth that much…not yet, anyhow.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I am not. I am basically agreeing with Melnick/Dreger… make use of the RFA Offer tool more. Nashville could do it for any player.. but given the circumstances (which I detailed before) I dont see any player available by RFA today better that Subban who would have a ‘marquee value’ way above his real hockey worth.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1.Montreal matches, Nashville gain nothing.

      2. Montreal refuse to match, Nashville are stuck severely overpaying PK Subban, and they lose picks to boot.

      It’s the old lose/lose.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • commandant says:

      re The trade

      Nashville would decline to match, and get 4 firsts.
      Nashville would then trade the 4 firsts back to Philly for some other package.

      Happened with Shane Corson (Edmonton to St. Louis) and Chris Gratton (Tampa to Philly) before.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Bripro says:

        That’s right…
        Is it possible that’s why the Preds’ camp is quiet?
        Not much of a response so far.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Thanks… so Weber still stays a Flyer. Dont see that trade being of any value to Nashville. I dont know the public perception of the team from here in Ottawa .. but they need to do something galvanizing. Trading 4 1st rnd picks back AINT.

        • commandant says:

          Depends what you get back of course.

          Would both Schenns plus Voracek, look better than four first rounders? Granted its not as good as Weber.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Bripro says:

            I think Philly would rather take their chances with the 4 first-rounders than giving that much up.

          • 24 Cups says:

            commandant – your trade options are way off the mark (here and above). If I’m Philly, I’m giving up the four 1st rounders. Besides, Nashville has very little leverage in this deal. It’s not like they are likely to match the offer.

          • commandant says:

            i wouldnt count out nashville matching

            didnt they offer 13 years over 90 million front loaded for Suter

            That must’ve been assuming theyd get Weber too

            Now they only have one of the two guys to sign

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • commandant says:

      On the PK scenario

      1) The 2nd would need to be in 2013. Due to the nature of the two first round picks, the pick that slides to the second year is the second first round pick.

      2) Nashville’s offer sheet is deemed illegal before they can even make it because they must reacquire the picks before they can make the offer sheet. You must own the necessary picks before the league approves your offer sheet. Montreal owning the 2nd round pick makes this extremely unlikely. Montreal isn’t going to trade Nashville a pick, so that Nashville can try to poach PK, without some kind of serious return. They would just trade for PK instead (if Montreal was willing to give him up).

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Cal says:

      PK would have to be advised by his agent to sign any offer sheet presented to him. To the Habs, this is a betrayal of good bargaining faith between PK and themselves. The biggest reason this “tool” isn’t used often because it has to be a disgruntled player who no longer wants to live and work in Montreal. PK and his agent know full well they are going to be well compensated during PK’s career here in Montreal. He knows he is popular here (he would be anywhere he plays because he has that charisma) and loves the fact that the Habs are #1 in Montreal.
      If any team tried to sign PK and he listened to the offer and actually signed, I’d be very surprised. I believe he is going to sign a 2 to 3 season deal not unlike Price’s last contract before cashing in big time if he continues to perform as he can and will.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Sorry Cal… I know I am being cynical but I totally disagree. Dont think that sentimentality will play a role. But you used the word “charisma” which I a trying to sell Poile on. LOL!

        It’s all MOOT though cause Mtl’s got Nashville’s 2013 2nd rnd, which is needed.

  33. Kristopher7 says:

    IMHO, blockbuster deal inc. Nsh signs SW and trades him to MTL.

  34. Cal, Sherri and Hab thanksl Ijust read your comments. See you all at the Summit.

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  35. ed lopaz says:

    I think the Preds are looking at a substantial loss of credibility and support from their fans here.

    very similar to 1994 Expos.

    The fans could decide that the league rules don’t work, the team can not afford to keep their stars, and then the fans could lose interest and stop caring.

    Someone once said he didn’t mind the booing from the fans because at least it showed they still cared.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s why I don’t think the Predators can look at this as a straight value proposition, the four first-rounders won’t replace the blow to the psyche of the fanbase.

      Then again, the Flyers know they can afford to pay $26M to a locked out player, and that the Predators can’t.

    • Bripro says:

      The other issue to consider is that IMO, this puts Bettman in a delicate position. Especially during the contract negotiations.
      He’s been pushing the hockey-in-the-desert concept for a while, and is for some reason determined to make it work.
      If he sees the demise of the team as a result of this contract, he might just veto it.

      • commandant says:

        If he vetos it, the NHLPA will file a grievance so fast it will make his head spin.

        After re-writing the rules on Kovalchuk (rules that were obeyed on Weber)… and then approving Suter and Parise, Bettman has no leg to stand on with a veto here. He’ll get killed in court.

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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        • Bripro says:

          I think there’s a big difference here, Ben.
          Given the nature of the offer…it’s ridiculously front-loaded.
          Having to require Nashville to pay $26 million in the first year in bonuses is ridiculous.
          Yes, it’s a shrewd move by Holmgren, probably out of frustration with Nashville in the first place.
          But that type of contract shows that there are the Yankees of hockey, and the Expos.
          And if Bettman doesn’t act on it, Nashville will be in trouble.

          • commandant says:

            Parise and Suter are both getting over 20 million in the first calendar year of their deals.

            Neither have been nominated for an award as presitigious as the Norris, something Weber has done twice.

            Weber is also RFA, necessitating the overpay for reasons of discouraging the Preds.

            Pretty easy to justify an extra 30% to Weber.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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          • boing007 says:

            There’s a whole lot of wheeler dealin’ going on.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Not if they investigate the option I posted above. I wont repeat all the reasons why this is a dynamically positive move they should explore. I posted the reasons earler in the afternoon.

  36. accp says:

    I don’t blame Weber. other players are getting big contracts and they’re no better than him. IMO Weber is probably the best D-man in the league. I say get the most you can get and if you don’t know how. talk to Gomez. He’s got a big contract to attend games.

  37. habs11s says:

    IMO take the picks. He has no interest in staying in Nashville and 4 first rounds is a pretty good offer. I think Pekka Rinne has a sinking feeling in his stomach. A lot of pucks coming his way this year..
    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • commandant says:

      Did Joe Sakic have no interest in staying in Colorado when he signed with the Rangers? Did it make a difference?

      Weber went for the cash grab. Everyone knows this is the last chance for one of these crazy front loaded contracts, so he took it from whoever would give it to him when Nashville wouldnt.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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      • TomNickle says:

        It may not have proven that Sakic was dead set on seeing if the grass was greener but it certainly proved that he was willing to find out.

        Many have spoken of loyalty today. There are rare instances where loyalty applies. Weber and Sakic aren’t among those instances.

      • habs11s says:

        Given me Sakic instead of Weber and I’d match it in a second. I don’t think we are comparing the same caliber of player here.

        Let the man go to the goaltender graveyard ( Not Toronto, the other one) and let them play 82 games plus a first round exit…

        _____________________________________________________________

        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • Bripro says:

      The 4 first rounds are not an offer.
      It’s a cost to pay, listed in the CBA. It’s scaled based on the amount offered.
      A lesser offer, for example, would have meant giving up a couple of second rounders, or a first and a second, and so on.

      • habs11s says:

        I still think that’s pretty good compensation given the circumstances, you could get almost two Phil Kessel for those 4 first round picks :P

        _____________________________________________________________

        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

        • Bripro says:

          Go back to the previous page and read Chris’ perspective on why 4 first-round draft picks are poor compensation, and I agree.
          The statistical probability of landing one, let alone two top tier players is very remote.
          If Philly continually drafted in the top-10, then I might give you one at least.
          But they’re always strong enough to draft no lower than 20th. The elite prospects are mostly gone by then.


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