It’s looking good for the Predators to re-sign Shea Weber. Check out the latest as well as news on the Predators other notable free agents.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reported the Nashville Predators top priority is re-signing star defenseman and team captain Shea Weber, who expressed confidence he and Predators management will get a deal done to keep him in Nashville, adding it’s a place he loves playing in and believes it’s only a matter of time until a new contract is signed. GM David Poile also expressed confidence he’ll get Weber re-signed before July 1st, when the RFA would be eligible to receive an offer sheet from a rival club. To appease Weber however Cooper feels the club will have to beef up its offense, noting Weber pointed out the club’s lack of offensive production was what prevented them from defeating the Vancouver Canucks. One possibility could be bringing back Alexander Radulov, who’s played in the KHL the last three seasons but his agent claims he can get out of his current KHL contract if he wanted to.
Cooper also reported on the status of UFA’s Joel Ward,Shane O’Brien, Steve Sullivan and Marcel Goc, who hope to remain with the Predators but admitted it was up to the organization if they’ll return or not.
EXAMINER.COM: Jim Diamond reported pending RFA winger Sergei Kostitsyn didn’t hesitate when asked if he hoped to re-sign with the club, saying he would love to return, and dismissed the possibility of returning to the Montreal Canadiens via offer sheet if he were unsigned after July 1st. Kostitsyn’s agent is Don Meehan, who also represents Shea Weber.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds as though the Predators re-signing Weber is a foregone conclusion as both sides sound very optimistic about getting a long-term deal done. It should also hopefully put to rest rumors which popped up over the course of the season claiming Weber wanted to play in a “real hockey city”, that he’ll only sign a one-year extension in order to become a UFA next summer, or that his salary demands could be so high it could force Poile to trade him, rather than risk losing him to an offer sheet in July. Radulov is an intriguing possibility but one wonders if both sides are willing to bury the hatchet, let alone if Radulov wants to return to the NHL. Of the UFAs, I believe Ward stands the best chance to return, while Kostitsyn will probably double his money (he made $550K last season) re-signing with the Predators.