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With Weber staying, Preds looking to add more players

The Sports Xchange

Throughout the course of defenseman Shea Weber's restricted free agency, the Predators always said they would match any offer sheet that came his way.

It took them almost a week to announce they matched the front-loaded deal he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, but they will indeed be on the hook for Weber's 14-year, $110 million contract. The deal will pay Weber $27 million in the first year.

The decision to match the offer sheet ends a yearlong saga between the Predators and their captain. Last offseason, Nashville took him to arbitration, and Weber was awarded a one-year deal worth $7.5 million.

Now with Weber in the fold and goaltender Pekka Rinne signed for the next seven seasons, the Predators have more roster stability than they've had in a long time. With two stars locked up long term, they can now try to make more adjustments to their roster. They can add a top-six forward and go after a defenseman to replace defenseman Ryan Suter, who left Nashville for the Minnesota Wild.

If the Predators add anyone, it will likely be via trade. There are few unrestricted free agents available who fit their system. Still, for the first time in awhile, they're a team looking to add rather than subtract.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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