Predators match Flyers on Weber

The Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers' 14-year, $110 million offer sheet to Shea Weber in what the NHL team called the most important transaction in franchise history.

Eurosport

Had the Predators decided not to match the Flyers' offer sheet for the All-Star defenseman, who has spent his entire seven-year NHL career in Nashville, they would have received four first-round draft picks as compensation.

"The decision to enter into the largest contract in franchise history was made by all parts of the organization, including ownership, hockey operations and business operations," the Predators said in a statement.

Nashville, who have already lost marquee free agent defenseman Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild this month, had one week to decide whether to match the offer announced by the Flyers last Thursday.

Weber, 26, selected by the Predators in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft, is a three-time All-Star who led Nashville's defensemen with 19 goals and 49 points last season.

Losing Weber, the Predators' captain and twice Norris Trophy finalist as the NHL's top defenseman, would have been a major blow to a team that has been making strides in recent seasons.

The Predators said the decision boiled down to whether they wanted Weber to lead the team through the 2025-26 season; if matching the offer sheet was in the best interests of the organisation; and if failing to match the offer would send a negative message to the players on the current roster.

"The answer to each of the above questions is clearly 'yes.' The organization spent the last several days analyzing all aspects of the offer sheet, from economic implications to the impact on the team hockey operations puts on the ice," the team said.

"Most importantly was the reaction to whatever decision the organization reached and the impact it would have on our fans, sponsors and marketing partners."

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