Who knew that the Blackhawks signing of Sheldon Brookbank might be the most significant move in the Central Division this offseason? News has broken that Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber has signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. It is being reported that the contract is worth $100 million over 14 years. The exact type of contract the owners are trying to outlaw in the new CBA. I fully expect the Preds to match this offer just because they have to, right? There is no way general manager David Poile can let both Weber and Ryan Suter walk within weeks of each other. If he doesn’t match the offer he can do himself a favor and just get in the unemployment line right now.
If Weber heads east the Preds become a team with a very average defense at best. This helps the Hawks, big time! The Detroit Red Wings, who were expected to be a major player this summer, will lose out on another big name and yet again fail to improve their team. The St Louis Blues have not made much noise this summer either. Was last year’s 109 points a fluke? It looks like their management is satisfied in finding out if last season can be repeated with essentially the same group. So the Hawks have improved their chances within the Central by standing pat so far. Stan Bowman has been getting hammered for not bringing in a big free agent but, at least he has done a good job at keeping his core players intact. I for one am huge fan of both Weber and Suter out of the division, sorry Smashville.
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