NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2012.

Flyers sign Predators defenseman Shea Weber to offer sheet, NHL CBA talks continue, Drew Doughty won’t face sexual assault charges, Sami Salo, Adrian Aucoin and Jordin Tootoo look forward to joining their new clubs, Capitals hired Johansson as assistant coach.

PHILLY.COM/TSN.CA: The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber to a 14-year, $100 million offer sheet. The Predators now have seven days to match the offer. If they pass, they’ll receive compensatory draft picks from the Flyers, depending on the average cap hit of the offer. TSN’s Darren Dreger (who broke the story) reports via Twitter the Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, NY Rangers and San Jose Sharks  had talked trade with the Predators regarding Weber prior to the Flyers offer.

Flyers sign Weber to expensive offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is indeed a bombshell, coming after recent reports claiming Predators GM David Poile wanted to re-sign Weber. If he was indeed discussing trade scenarios, it suggests Poile may be unable to get Weber to agree to a new, long-term contract, or one with terms agreeable to the Predators.  Bear in mind, if the Predators match, no other club can make an offer, and the Predators can’t trade Weber for one year from the date they match the offer.

There’s some confusion over what the compensation would be, but according to this recent post from Pension Plan Puppets, it’s based on what the average value of the contract would be, not upon what it would be if it is heavily front-loaded. If it’s Over $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 , the compensation is Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rd. If it’s over the latter figure, it’s four first round picks. Hopefully, we’ll have more details on the potential compensation soon.

In the meantime, the ball is in the Predator court. Do they match and keep Weber on a deal perhaps far more expensive than they were offering? Or lose another top defenseman for draft picks?

**UPDATE** Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos is reporting the deal is in fact worth $110 million over 14 years. The breakdown is as follows: “1st 4 yrs 1M salary+13M sb; yrs 5-6 4M sal+ 8Msb; yrs 7-10 6M sal; year 11 3M sal; last 3 yrs 1M salary”. CapGeek.com, meanwhile, reports it includes “$68 million in signing bonuses” over the first five years. The draft picks compensation for the Predators if they don’t match is indeed four 1st round draft picks.

ESPN.COM: Labor talks between the NHL and NHLPA continued yesterday. No counter-proposal yet from the PA to the league’s initial prosposal of last Friday, as the PA wanted more detailed financial information from the league. Talks will continue today.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will not face sexual assault charges.

 TAMPA BAY TIMES: New Lightning defenseman Sami Salo is looking forward to joining his new teammates in Tampa Bay. Salo signed with the Lightning as an unrestricted free agent after nine seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Defenseman Adrian Aucoin talks about his role and expectations with the Blue Jackets, whom he signed with as a free agent this summer.

DETROIT NEWS: Tenacious forward Jordin Tootoo is ready to bring his pesky skills to the Red Wings, with whom he signed as a free agent after spending his entire NHL career with the Nashville Predators.

WASHINGTON POST: Former Capitals player Calle Johansson will join the club as a new assistant coach.

60 Comments

  1. Huge move by the Flyers. This deal could to far too front loaded for the Preds to match. If they can afford the big payout at the start they will match for sure.

  2. If the press have the money I think you have to bite the bullet and match. Dependind on exact numbers philly sits at 7.8 under the cap right now add weber and they may have to move some salary out. At least we will have an answer for one player in 7 days.

  3. Damn Flyers! I have a question: if Nashville trades Webers rights to another team before the 7 days can that team match the flyers offer? Because you would think that there’s a team that will give up assets now and agree to that contract. This way Nashville doesnt get middle to late round picks an actually gets NHL players to fill out their roster. Can that happen?

    • I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think the Preds can trade him now that he’s signed an offer sheet. He’s technically a Flyer, UNLESS the Preds match the offer. That’s the Preds only option right now, or let him go for the compensation, which is 2 firsts, a second, and a third (I think). If the Preds match, it’s speculated the signing bonus’s could in reality, pay Weber 26mill for the 1st, probably the 2nd, and maybe the 3rd years of the deal. That’s apparently upwards of 16% of the Preds estimated value, according to Forbes magazine. Can they really afford to do that? Poile, and the rest of us, will obviously have to wait for ownership to give him the green, or red, light.

      • Once a player signs an offer sheet, he cannot be traded until the following off-season.

  4. Not sure how a team can lose their top two d-man pairing and still be competitive? Suter must have given Poille some hope of resigning … otherwise, he would have traded his rights. At least he will recoup some assets for Weber. I don’t see the Preds matching this offer.

  5. I can’t blame Poile for sticking to his guns with his FA stars, but I believe the writing was on the wall last year, when Weber refused to sign a long term extention, and wound up with a 1yr deal that had to be awarded by an arbitrator, as he and the Preds could not come to an agreement. The Preds, as a franchise, have had an extremely hard time retaining their top D-men. In recent years, they’ve lost; Timonen, Hamhuis, Suter, and perhaps now Weber. Yes, Timonen was traded, but he was a FA at the time, not sure if he was UFA or RFA.

    And that’s just the D-men.

    Traded along with Timonen was Hartnell, who was also a FA. Yeah, Radulov is a lot of things, he’s also another top end talent not playing for the Preds any longer. Jordin Tootoo is now gone as well, and they’ll probably also lose both of the Kostitsyn brothers. Would losing the brothers be a good or bad thing? Who knows? But I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this question; Who is the most “pissed” person in the Preds organization lately? That honour has to go to; Pekka Rinne!

  6. 10.4 Draft Choice Compensation for Restricted Free Agents

    Any Club that is entitled to but does not exercise its Right of First Refusal pursuant to Section 10.3 shall be entitled to obtain Draft Choice Compensation from the New Club. The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms (as defined in Section 10.3(e) hereof) of the New Club’s Offer Sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five)

    100 million/5 = 20million, therefore four 1st Round Picks would be the compensation.

    • Nice work Eric!

    • Agreed, nice work man.

      • I concur, there was some initial confusion among those who broke the story over the compensation. Wrapping one’s head around legalese at 2 am isn’t easy for those of us who have trouble with it…;)

  7. I’d thank the Flyers for doing my negotiations for me. Nashville has to sign him or risk being the dumbest team ever. The compensation is simply not any good, because the Flyers with Weber would probably win 1 or 2 cups in the next 5 years with more final four finishes and etc.

    Weber is the most balanced d-man in the league and by all definitions, an all star. You’ll not get no Weber out of two late firsts, a late second, and a late third. I don’t care how much they’re shelling out first year, sign him. If they don’t, I’ll be pissed.

  8. i wonder if there’s any way the NHL could declare the contract illegal (like they did with Kovalchuk’s) or force it to be restructured? clubs (and agents) are getting creative to get around the Cap (in the case of Ehrhoff, Suter, and Parise offfering massive signing bonuses) and the NHL has shown with their latest CBA megotiation that they’re trying to close all the loopholes. i would think if there was any way the NHL could stop this contract they would as it’s an obvious attempt to get under the wire before they prevent these kinds of contracts. i wonder if the NHL would allow Nashville to trade the right to match this contract to another team? i know the NHLPA wouldn’t like it but it’s a small market team being targetted by a much bigger team.

  9. Hold On!!! The Preds still have options.
    They can start negotiations with Philly for the draft picks. The scenario plays out something like this.

    The Preds refuse to match the offer
    Philly sends 2 – 1st a 2nd and a 3rd to Preds.
    Preds trade one 1st the 2nd and the 3rd back to Philly for the Schenn bros.
    The Preds keep one first (for future use,trade bait for next year) and get 2 useful players to supplement their roster now.

    Yes, they lose Weber, but they get something tangible back immediately. Based on the trouble the Preds had with Weber last year they are better off letting him go and getting something back.

    This was a smart move by Philly to force the issue.

    • As per Eric:

      Now they have four 1st to trade back or to someone else.

  10. They will match it. It is that simple

  11. Hard to see them not matching.. 4 first rounders are nice, albeit they would probably be later in the round.. but Nashville is not in rebuilding mode.

    Still, good to see some action happening in the NHL. Summertime is so slow. They should tweak this offer sheet stuff in the new CBA so it happens more often.

  12. Preds are still 13+mill from current cap floor, as per CapGeek. It seems like they have no choice (on multiple levels), other than match the offer. But they would then be stuck with a player who obviously doesn’t want to play for them, for an entire year (at the very least) as they cannot trade him for one year after matching an offer sheet.

  13. This is what I can’t wrap my head around though; if Weber really doesn’t want to be part of the Preds organization any longer, I find it very odd that he’d sign any offer sheet, giving the Preds an opportunity to match and keep him in NSH for such a long time.

  14. If the Preds dont match this deal, it will definatly put them in the running for the top pick in next years draft. I am not saying that the fate of the franchise lies on the shoulder of Weber, but in reality it really does. He is a stud D-Man that had skills beyond anyone on that roster combined. Rinne will have to deal with twice as much rubber and they honeslty dont have the guns up front to out score teams. IMO I think that they Match the offer and think about getting a HUGE return for him next summer.

    I think that the OWNERS are really showing their true colors and it could bite them in the butt when it comes to the negotiations on the CBA. You want all the revenue and then give a player 30-65 mil in the first 2-3 years of a front loaded contract? That is ridiculous!

    • Don’t count out Ducks getting #1 pick or at least a top 5 pick, we have a ace in the hole in Boob Murray, snatching defeat out of the hands of victory

  15. As per @RealKyper; Weber’s deal is 110m over 14yrs, with 68m in signing bonuses over the first 6 years.

  16. Also as per @RealKyper: 1st 4 yrs 1M salary+13M sb; yrs 5-6 4M sal+ 8Msb; yrs 7-10 6M sal; year 11 3M sal; last 3 yrs 1M sal

  17. As article 10.4 of the current CBA. The compensation will be 4 first round pick. The compensation system work this way :
    -take the total amount of money of the offer sheet (100 million), divide by the smaller number between the number of years in the contract OR divide by 5 (in this case, it’s 5).

    Total annual value (for compensation use only) is 20 million.

    Any compensation having an annual value over 8,410,976 is worth 4 first rounders.

    Quote of the article 10.4 :
    The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms (as defined in Section 10.3(e) hereof) of the New Club’s Offer Sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five), [...]

    I think it’s a huge price for any player! 4 round pick, an annual salary of 7.1 million and a commitment of 14 years!!!! It’s a high price for a single player…

  18. Doesn’t seem like enough for Weber unless it’s 4 Number 1 picks. I recall the Chris Pronger trade from Anaheim and remember Pronger was old. Anaheim got Joffery Lupul,
    Luca Sbisa ( Philly #1 pick from previous year) Flyers 2009 #1 pick that Anaheim traded to Columbus for a #1 and #2 pick
    in 2009 turning out to be Kyle Palmieri and Mat Clark and Flyers #1 in 2010 who turned out to be Emerson Etem.
    In Sbisa – Palmieri – Etem that’s a lot of young talent coming down the pike for a old and now maybe finished Pronger. Weber is much younger so unless it’s four #1’s nashville gets robbed.

  19. Seems like a no brainer offer for Philly. Four 1st rounders for 14 (possible) years of service from arguably the top defenseman in the league? C’mon. I think when these compensations were created they weren’t thinking about ridiculously long termed deals like this one. The compensation seems too light for the damage it will cause Nashville, because it’s not like any of those 1st round picks are going to be in the top 5.

  20. One thing to consider: will signing bonuses be protected from any potential roll-back in salaries in the new CBA?

  21. I agree somewhat with The Man__Oss said. They can still work out a trade exclusively with the Flyers. They way it would work is that in exchange for not agreeing to match the offer, the Flyers would send X players/picks in return for X number of the 1st round picks.

    This is a possible win/win/win situation for all parties involved.

    Weber – he gets rich quick (maybe not a true motivation, but it doesn’t hurt). Also, he has stated many times that he would like to retire as a Predator. Yet, he is also willing to move on and finish his career with the Flyers. Either way, he will have a “home” for 14 years.

    Flyers – they get the best D-man in the game today in his prime. They would have him for the next 14 years. The compensation of four late 1st round picks would be worth the price. Signing him also gives the Flyers exclusive negotiating rights with the Preds. No going to Pitt, NY, Det, etc…for at least a year. If they don’t match, they get the best D-Man.

    Preds – Negotiating between teams and with Weber is done. They win if they match. They lose if they don’t match. They come out slightly better if they can work a trade.

  22. Hey Lyle,

    Any chance the Preds don’t match and then the contract gets rejected by the NHL? If it was rejected, would he remain the property of Nashville or would Philly be able to tweak?

    Just some questions/thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Hillybilly

    • A very slim chance the league rejects the contract. It’s within the parameters set following the Kovalchuk situation two years ago, so I daresay the Flyers have their ducks in a row on this one.

    • I say no chance the league rejects. The Contract takes him to 39 which is very realistic and none of the years are below 1-Million

  23. *Applauds Holmgren*

    Brilliant move. Holmgren has the biggest balls of any GM in the league, hands down. This is what I’m talking about…offer sheets are just business. It’s a calculated strategic play. Not any sort of “jerkish” move as has been suggested by certain people around here.

    If a GM fails to use these kinds of tactics, then he isn’t using all the tools in his tool box to make his team the best it can be.

    Win-win for the Flyers. And the Preds should definitely consider letting Weber go at this point, because there is something to be said for taking that compensation. Does Weber even want to be there?…it’s uncertain at best. Can the Preds win a cup?…probably not. I bet Buffalo would have wished they took the compensation way back when Vanek was signed to an offer sheet.

    • Hindsight is always 20/20. The Sabres couldn’t have let Vanek go because they had just lost Briere and Drury for nothing. The fan base was (rightly) outraged. This was too much of a PR hit for them to take.

      And of course, who knew that Edmonton would have so many nr. 1 picks?

  24. Thank you for your feedback. You da best, have a good summer.

  25. i think they should take the 4 1st and just rebuild. I was already thinking things were dicey after Suter went but this puts them firmly in the “need to start over” category, in my opinion.

  26. So I would think Pronger’s career is pretty much over to make this move. What a shame great d-man.

  27. Just thinking out loud here, but if you HAD to trade Weber, would four 1st Rounders do it? I’m guessing not, not late-round picks anyway. You’d have to assume, Philly, with a young team, would at very least be Playoff contender every year for quite some time.

    The flip side is that Nashville has drafted pretty well, they just haven’t ever been able to retain any of that talent. I mean if you look at the defense they could have iced if they actually kept the players they drafted, it’s impressive, and kind of sad they aren’t a better team.

    Kind of makes you wonder, even if they did get four top-5 1st round picks, would it make a difference?

  28. 1) I can’t beleive that this deal does not calissify under Cap Circumvention. 3 years at $1M versus the first four years at $14 Million…. this is exaclty what didn’t allow the Kovalchuk deal to go through. How is this deal going to be accepted by the league? If it is, this is a double standard.

    2) Weber is one of the best d-men in the league right now, but on a 14 year deal there is a lot or risk: injury, complacency, poor performance, play dropping-off. What is ludicrous is that Pronger has not earned this salary amortized over his career. Not even Lidstrom made this much money. A 14-year deal is stupid for any player.

    3) Four first round picks is a high price for any player. They are likely to be low first-round picks (Hello James Van Reimsdyk at #2 overall– who would have thought that??), but in priciple you should never trade first round picks that far in advance. Perry, Getzlaf, Parise, Eberle, M. Richards are all examples of late 2st rond picks who have blossomed into Superstars. What if Bryzgalov gets hurt? Then you just handed the Preds a top-10 pick. This would even make Biran Burke laugh.

    4) You cannot look at the value of these picks in isolation. They are a second 1st rd pick for Nashville in each of the next four years. It is a nice advantage to have two 1st picks to deal in order to move up in the draft every year and get “better players”. this is very important curreny on the draft floor.

    If I was Nashville, I would take the picks, let Philly pay Weber this ludicrous amount of money. Weber is not worth $110 Million dollars.

    • Let me also add that the Flyers lose four 1st-rd picks that they will need to get help each year at the deadline. It’s like showing up at an auction with an empty wallet.

      They better be happy with this team as-is, becasue they wil have zero ability to add players.

  29. There is no way that the Preds have the money to match this kind of offer, they are not a very rich franchise, nor do they have even close to the richest owners. They can’t replace Weber/Suter but they have a lot of young D and they draft well. A small rebuild and possibly a focus on getting some offense into their system that will help them retain talent is best.

    Now while I agree that every GM should use all his tools this is something that needs to be addressed. Offer sheets only benefit the top rich teams in the league. Why? The Flyers are able to structure that deal to make it very unlikely that a small market team like Nashville could match it! If all teams were on equal footing I’d get it, but lets be fair if Weber was RFA in Toronto and Philly came in … hell there wouldn’t have even been an offer sheet cause a rich team like TO, MTL, DET ect could match it.

    • Remember also that while the flyers picks might be low, loosing Weber should also mean Nashville’s picks should be higher. Not that GMs are paid to finish at the bottom but you see the point…

  30. This is collusion by Holmgren and Poile….this was all worked out and then executed. Guess Poile likes blowing Holmgren.

  31. Did anyone see what Weber’s “cap hit” would be for the Flyers 1st year?

  32. Nashville has to match or this franchise just got setback 5 years.Then what? This is why small market teams get screwed;no super stars want to stay once they become superstars (Kovalchuk,Atlanta)and they can’t compete for superstars either because they don’t want to play in Columbus or Phoenix or Nashville etc.once they get a chance to get the big money in the big market.Endless cycle bottom line too many teams not enough solid third and fourth liners to go around period.The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in a hurry!Sucks to be a Preds fan today.

  33. This contract circumvents the Cap more than Kovalchuk’s. I can’t see how the NHL can allow it.

    The contract is structured so that the Preds can’t match.

    I really feel for the Preds. If they don’t match.. they have lost their top 2 D on their team. Suter left for greener (in way of money) pastures. In the short term won’t have the success in Minny like he would have had in Nashville. Weber will play in front of a goaltender that couldn’t ‘tie the skates’ of Rinne.

    The ‘offer sheet’ should be voided if the NHL has any balls. They punished the Devils… this contract should be ‘punished’ as well.

    Karma is a bitch Mr. Holmgren. Although offer sheets are allowed.. teams don’t usually do them.. unless they are desperate. Somewhere and sometime in the future you will be ‘paid’ back.

    I guess you desperately need to replace Pronger & Carle. Carle left as a UFA and Pronger is out with a concussion. Now, I certainly don’t like to see any player severely injured enough that it could end their career… but Pronger was taken out with a concussion.. after giving a lot of concussions to his opponents. That’s called Karma..

    • No, it does not circumvent the cap like Kovachuks’s original contract did. In fact, the Weber offer sheet is in line with the terms agreed upon between the NHL and NHLPA.

      a)It doesn’t run past his 41st birthday (as set up by Kovy agreement)
      b)He is making the at least the minimum $1 million in his age 36-40 year (as set up by Kovy agreement)
      c)During the 1st 3 years, he will be making the max possible w/signing bonus. (as set up with Kovy agreement)

      Even if there is a new CBA and the NHL gets rollbacks, signing bonuses can not get touched, only actual salary.

      Face it folks, this may be the last contract of its kind in length, amount, and front loaded signing bonus; But it is still legal.

  34. $68 million in signing bonus…..I truly truly hope that the new CBA does include term limits and no bonus, its absolutely ridiculous that the signing bonus is worth more than the salary. I feel for David Poile, he has worked his butt of this year to sign these guys, and he ends up with this dilemma……I think he walks away from the contract. They have a solid group of young defencemen in Blum, Ellis, Jusi and Klein, and Trotz always makes the team competitive. Take the picks, and watch how Philly handles these contracts (Bryz too) 5 years from now.

    I also think there are a lot of agents out there on the phone to their clients who are eligible to sign extensions now before the new CBA. People always blame the owners for these contracts, yet who is always blamed when they cant afford to keep a player and he moves on…..the owners for being cheap. Nashville is a perfect example, they promised their fans that they would do their best to sign players and improve their team, and they tried. But do those same fans want them to go $200 mill in the hole for two defencemen?

    I think the only winners in the process right now, are the teams who either cant afford to do this, or the ones who refuse to panic and sign these ridiculous contracts. I think teams like Minny, Philly, LA, NJ etc who have these albatross contracts are going to truly suffer down the road.

    • With you 100%, Old Soldier!

      • ditto

    • Yeah they’ll suffer down the road. But they’ll each win one or two cups well before Nashville does.

  35. Hope the NHL rejects this based on the absurd bonuses. If this is not cap circumvention then I don’t know what is. The Preds have tons of cap space , it’s the bonuses that may prevent Nashville from re-signing him.
    The owners are right nuts when this type of deal happens when they propose a new CBA with the drawbacks that they have. Guess it doesn’t take brains to make billions. A new CBA to protect themselves from stuff like this. Yet they will still find ways to circumvent it.
    4 1sts for Weber ? Low 1st round picks no doubt. Either way Nashville gets screwed.

  36. Either way, if the Flyers sign Weber, they will be screwed completely. When Giroux’s contract ends, they will have a $39 million payroll with 2 forwards, 5 D and a goalie. That is assuming that they don’t sign any of their RFA or UFA in the next 2 years. Assuming that Giroux takes what he should (about $7 million a season), that will raise it to $46 million with 3 forwards, 5 D and a goalie. They are screwed if this goes through. If the new amnesty clause passes, they will probably buy out Pronger, which saves about $5 million. But if it doesn’t, they are screwed. Let’s do some crunching:

    Schenn gets $4.5 million
    Couturier gets $4 million

    That is 54.5 million to 6 forwards, 5 D and a goalie (that is with Pronger’s contract). Assuming that Hartnell gets resigned to a deal worth about $5 million, that makes the payroll 59.5 million. I’ll assume that they let Meszaros and Timonen go due to lack of cap space. I think that they will resign Simmonds to a deal worth about $3 million. That is 62.5 million on 12 players and a goalie, and 1 of those players is going to be hurt. Either way, they are screwed.

    • Edit: Only 10 players and a goalie.

  37. This deal had to be signed by Weber whether he wants to stay in Nashville or not. When the new CBA is signed, getting a $100 million offer and security for 14 years will never be available again. Best to cash in now then wait for the CBA to be signed, and have a limit of 5 years and whatever lower amount of money the new agreement says. Weber is smart, and my gut tells me Nashville will match.

  38. The only winner is Weber and his agent. They both get a mega pay day no matter what. Whomever pays out this contract will be hampered by it sooner or later.

    I’m thinking Nashville will walk away. This contract could sink the franchise financially.

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The CBA has failed and talks are going to get ugly after this.

  39. Unless the league stomps this one out?

  40. Can Nashville even afford to match this?

    If there is a lockout or a late start next season and they have to give Weber $26mill that might cripple them.

    This is a great move by Holmgren he has basically bought himself an exclusive window to get Weber with Nashville the only other place he will end up.

    I also think Philly is more then willing to trade back for the firsts they will lose.

    I could easily see Philly giving up either Schenn or Couturier Coburn and the rights to Voracek for 3 and a 2nd back or something along those line.

    But i wager Weber is done in Nashville and basically picked where he wanted to sign knowing Nashville wouldnt or couldnt match this.

  41. As a Pens fan I am really P.O.ed about this offer sheet. But the boys in Philly did nothing wrong. They steped up and got their man. I guess I am really more upset in the fact that the Pens did nothing in FA in fact I thing we got worse. I just hope & pray Mr. Shero has a trick or two left before the season starts to give us a fighting chance this year.

  42. Nashville HAS to match this. They probably get league money from revenue sharing anyways so your using free money anyways. Keep him for the required 1 year and if he’s unhappy then you will have teams lining up for him. It won’t be like loungo or Nash because ppl will WANT Weber. Bite the bullet for a year and a half and trade him for a bunch of assets.

  43. too bad Nashville hadn’t been a little more proactive and signed Voracek to an offer sheet before Philadelphia signed Weber to his, it would’ve put the Flyers in a situation where they would’ve had to choose. who knows maybe this will mean open season on signing players to offer sheets, one things for sure it completely exposes the owners hypocrisy. they certainly can’t be crying poverty and signing #100 million contracts never mind claiming unity while working to screw a smaller team by making an offer that’s hard for them to match, the word that comes to mind is predatory. the NHL needs to show some leadership and invalidate the offer, if nothing else it completely violates the spirit of the Cap they all claimed was essential for the survival of the league.