In the meantime, the Predators released a statement regarding the whole scenario on Thursday. Without further delay, here it is.
"We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and Shea Weber. Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, the Predators have one week to decide whether to match or accept the compensation. 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.
“We do not anticipate any further comments on this situation until we make our decision within the next seven days.”
Reading through the lines on that one: Expect the Predators to match, just not right away.
Poile restates what he has been saying for some time in that if Weber signs an offer sheet he will match it. He had to know that it would come heavily loaded up front but still, seeing what the contract looks like had to give him some major sticker shock.
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More interesting to me though is the part about ownership providing him the necessary resources to win. That means they have money. We know they a lot to spend to reach the cap floor anyway so that much is a given. But we also know that in addition to preparing for a Weber deal they had enough money to offer Ryan Suter a big contract. So it jives with what we've been hearing about the Predators.
The one question though that still remains for me on that front: They have that money now. Will they have that money in four years from now when Weber will still be receiving a $13 million signing bonus? That's surely part of the complexity to which Poile refers in the statement. The structure was built that way to force the Predators to think long and hard about it. Poile will be doing just that.
He has always been a GM who fits the bill of calculating. It's not surprising that he's going to take his time just to make sure this is the right decision for the Predators. Although if I were Poile I think by now I would have already announced I'm matching the contract.
Point is Preds fans, don't get too down yet and Flyers fans don't get too excited.