The Predators face some serious decisions regarding their pending free agents, notably Shea Weber and Joel Ward, plus updates on the Flyers possible off-season plans.

SPORTING NEWS/ESPN.COM: reported topping the list of free agents the Nashville Predators must re-sign is team captain, Norris trophy nominee and restricted free agent Shea Weber, who earned $4.5 million and could earn a raise over $7 million per season. ESPN’s E.J. Hradek suggested Weber could opt for a one-year extension which would take him to unrestricted free agency next summer. Ray Slover of The Sporting News meanwhile reported Weber didn’t sound like a player who was finished as a Predator in his post-game discussion with reporters following the Predators elimination from the playoffs.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper examined not only Weber’s free agency status but also that of the Predators other notable free agents. He suggested Dion Phaneuf’s six year, $39 million contract is the standard for defensemen in Weber’s 2003 class, but Phaneuf is nowhere near Weber’s caliber. Cooper feels Chicago’s Brent Seabrook’s recent new five year, $29 million contract could be “a good starting point” in negotiations. Cooper doubts pending UFA forward Joel Ward, who earned $1.5 million this season, can replicate his playoff numbers (13 points in 12 games) in the regular season, but noted his all round play would make him a valuable commodity in the free agent market. Cooper also suggested if oft-injured forward Steve Sullivan wants to remain he’ll have to take a considerable pay cut from the $3.75 million he made this season, and pondered the possibility of the Predators buying out the final season ($4 million) of fading winger J.P. Dumont’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have detailed analysis of the Predators free agent situation and what they might do on my blog. I do believe they’ll re-sign Weber to a long-term extension, but the money it’ll cost to do that could hamper them from bolstering their scoring lines next season.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and his staff are mulling over whether they need to make a move to bring in a quality starting goaltender. Holmgren made clear Sergei Bobrovsky remains a major part of the team’s future. The Flyers have invested over $58 million already in next season’s payroll, meaning they’d have to clear considerable cap space if they were to pursue someone like Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov, who is eligible for UFA status on July 1st.  Carchidi also recently “tweeted” there’s no truth to rumors the Flyers want to move Mike Richards or Jeff Carter. “Not yet”, he cryptically wrote.

PHILLYBURB.COM: Wayne Fish reports Holmgren remains interested in re-signing pending UFA forward Ville Leino. The Flyers GM also dismissed suggestions of a rift between Richards and head coach Peter Laviolette.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flyers want to bring in a quality starter like Bryzgalov and still re-sign Leino, they’ll need to dump probably up to $10 million in salary to get it done. If the Flyers do make a trade it won’t be Richards and I doubt they’ll trade Carter, though given how often his name has been in the rumor mill in recent years don’t be surprised if his name pops up again, despite his current 11 year, $58 million contract.

 

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13 Responses to Latest on the Predators and Flyers – May 11, 2011.

  1. murph says:

    Weber was a one man force during the playoffs. As a Leaf fan in Toronto, I never really get to see Nashville play much, but if that is his normal contribution he should be compensated as one of the best D in the League. I think the Flyers go after a bigger name goalie, whether it is Vokoun, Bryzgalov or somehow Nabokov. Holmgren has been proven to ice a solid team even when crushed to the cap ceiling, and will do whatever it takes, to make a deal to win, even if that means moving Carter. He may just have to make some bold moves as he did when he took over the team from Bobby Clark. Sorrr, “Bob” Clark (must be showing my age).

  2. DurtMCHurt says:

    Carter or Richards won’t be moved. Trading Versteeg and Hartnell for picks/prospects plus not resigning Zherdev and O’Donnel would open roughly 10 mil. That seems more viable then trading those massive contracts.

    Weber is NOT going anywhere. IMO he is a top 3 defenseman in the league and should get 6.8-7 mil per.

    Spector, I heard a rumbling the Preds where concidering packaging Dumont and Ellis together to try and land a top 6 forward. Do you think that could still be on the table? Apparently it was for MacArthur or someone else. (I forget who else was rumored)

  3. Bill Placzek says:

    To think the Predators would offer more than Brent Seabrook’s contract is dangerous. Weber IS a great mobile dee-man with a cannon, but despite the Norris Trophy candidacy (which was surprising, like an old time obe where scoring points where the HUGE contributing factor in nominations), is he really the Preds best defenseman over Suter?

    If a contender who is about to lose their Norris trophy candidate to retirement may an out and out huge RFA offer, I bet that the Preds would take the five picks.

    You just hate to see the playoff successes marred in the summer by CAP casulties….

  4. chaas says:

    Weber is a great defenseman but to say he was outstanding in the playoffs is an overstatement. He had no points against the Canucks. His play against Kesler was sloppy on multiple occasions. There was literally nothing to his game in that series that says “show me the money.” To pay for regular season success alone is dangerous. Just ask the Capitals.

  5. vetinari says:

    I have nothing against Joel Ward but go back a few years to a player named Fernando Pisani during the Oilers’ cup run in 2006 or so and he had a great playoffs, parlayed it into a 3 year, $2.5M per year deal, and then disappeared to the fourth line or the IR for most of the contract.

  6. tuxedoTshirt says:

    “You just hate to see the playoff successes marred in the summer by CAP casulties….”
    Do ya Bill? Yeah, I miss the old days when only a few teams were competitive, and mistakes could be paid for……I think you might really go for major league baseball. I have no problem seeing mismanagement punished.

    Just cause a lot of you haven’t heard of Joel Ward before this playoffs, doesn’t make him a one-hit wonder…..it just shows how narrow your attention span is.

    Carter: Next time someone mentions dealing him, ask yourself who wants this lazy twat for 11 years!!!!
    ELEVEN YEARS!!!!!!!! It’s not that they won’t trade him, it’s that no one would take him.

  7. DinoRondelly says:

    A franchise d-man doesnt little for the team if there is no one up front to score goals.

    I am not say Weber isnt worth the 7mill a season i am saying in places like Nashville that money would be better spent on a forward scoring 35 to 40 goals a season and who might eventually contend for the rocket.
    Weber maybe a game changer a certain points in a game but people arent going to fill arenas to watch him play.

    If i were Nashville i would target a club like the Pens and see if maybe i could pry someone like Malkin outta there if Weber agreed to sign a long term extension.

    But chance are they will do everything in their power to sign him long term themselves,

  8. j3f.4row says:

    Nashville is deep on the back-end. If Weber cannot be signed to a longterm before the draft he must be dealt for major offensive flair. The consequences of having him walk or having to trade an expiring soon-to-be-UFA contract could be crippling for the franchise. GMDP is a smart, logical and shrewd man. He knows this.

    JUST THROWING IT OUT THERE FOR FUN…..

    What would you give up for Shea Weber right now?

  9. j3f.4row says:

    If I was Edmonton I would be offering up the 1st overall pick and one of the kids not named Hall.

  10. tuxedoTshirt says:

    Malkin for Weber is not the worst idea i’ve heard.
    other good moves for Weber include:
    -Bobby Ryan (that’s right), Patrick Marleau….
    I’m at work so i’ll let that little list stand, but players of that calibre would be fair for both sides.

  11. DurtMCHurt says:

    Semin seems like a perfect fit in Nashville. They already have a heart and soul team, they look like they’re one prolific goal scorer away from being a constistantly dangerous team. I don’t know what Nashville would give, but maybe if they want to get creative they can give the rights to Radulov into a package, hoping he’ll jump at the chance to play with ovie. Either way they wouldn’t have to trade weber. In fact, they would be showing him they are trying to build something special, and they can keep an awesome team instead of dismantling it.

  12. Aj says:

    I don’t know if Semin would be the type of fit. The fact that he tends to disappear when the game is on the line (like the last 2 years of playoffs for example) would not at all be what they’re looking for and dare I say it, would get better production when it counts from someone like Fisher. This team is a hard working, fast and gritty team and needs a scorer who can reflect that image. In all honesty James Neal would be an interesting fit (we’re not giving him up though) or Lou Eriksson would also be really interesting if Dallas felt the need to make a move (which would be stupid). Perhaps one of the kids on the Oilers outside of Hall?

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