After all the puffing-of-the-chest Predators GM David Poile did before the offseason got underway, his statement released earlier today seems to be a MAJOR step backward --
“We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea. Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the *complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.”
*What's the complexity, you ask? Travis Hughes from Broad Street Hockey took Nick Kypreos' tweeted description of the offer's terms and built it out into an easily understandable table --
Go ahead and add it all up.
Because Shea would be earning so much money in salary bonuses earlier on in his front-loaded contract, it's believed to be almost impossible (or should I say financially irresponsible) for the Nashville Predators to match Flyers GM Paul Holmgren's offer.
According to Forbes --
The Predators are losing money and trying to find investors to pump in about $25 million to shore up the team's finances. In early 2011 the team secured a $75 million credit facility led by Regions Bank to replace the $75 million loan from CIT Group used to finance the purchase of the team. The team has plans to renovate 15-year old Bridgestone Arena by adding a Fan Zone on the upper concourse and upgrading 72 suites. The Predators have a lot of debt and have been in the bottom-third of the league in attendance for six consecutive seasons.
That calculation is from November 2011.
In fact, Nashville's NHL franchise is 25th in value ($163M) out of all 30 teams. Their operating income is -7.5 million dollars.
Point is, they must be extremely frugal with their money. This isn't a question whether the Predators have the cap space or not. They have the most of any team in the League. They don't have the liquid to front Shea.
And if Nashville matches the offer, they HAVE to match it EXACTLY. Not just the contract's salary terms, but that bitchin' signing bonus as well. All its totals for each year. No ifs, ands or buts.
Weber's agent, Jarrett Bousquet, tells us --
I think we felt that there are better fits for him right now at this point in his career. He just got engaged, he wants the security now, he wants to be on a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup and I think we need to look at working under this CBA because of the uncertainty coming up in September.
It came down to Philadelphia being the best fit for Shea at this point. You don’t sign an offer sheet unless you think it’s the best fit. It’s definitely where he’d like to be playing.
Courier-Post reporter, Dave Isaac, tweeted moments ago that he had just gotten off the phone with Bousquet, who believes the Predators won't be able to afford matching Philadelphia's offer --
"They have to look at the financial side but the philosophical side as well. We could have a shortened season, maybe it doesn’t line up with their thought process. I don’t know what they’re thinking. I don’t know their ownership group as well as some others."
All signs are in favor of Philadelphia coming out on top with one more Shea Weber on their roster than Nashville. But remember, the Predators wouldn't part empty handed.
Just 150-hours to go.
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