The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth a total of $110 million. The deal includes $68 million in bonus money in the first six years.
In total, Weber will make $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six; $6 million in each of the next four seasons; $3 million in year 11; and $1 million in each of the remaining years.
"The Philadelphia Flyers have signed restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber to an offer sheet," read a short statement from the team on Thursday morning. "There will be no further comment at this time."
The Nashville Predators have seven days to match the offer if they wish to retain Weber's services. "We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and Shea Weber," said Predators GM David Poile confirmed in a team statement on Thursday.
"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."
The 26-year-old remained a restricted free agent after failing to come to an agreement with the Predators when his one-year, $7.5 million contract - awarded through arbitration - expired after the season.
Compensation in the form of draft picks for the Predators should they choose not to match the Flyers offer is tied to the average per-year cap hit of the offer sheet. It is expected the Predators would receive four first round draft picks.
The native of Sicamous, BC is coming off back-to-back first team NHL All-Star selections. He finished the 2011-12 season with 19 goals and 49 points. The captain of the Predators has spent seven seasons in Nashville, recording 99 goals and 263 points in 480 career NHL games.
The Predators, who had 104 points last season and finished fourth in the Western Conference, already lost free agent defenceman Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild this month.
Speculation is that Weber would fill the void left by defenceman Chris Pronger, who has been battling concussion problems and could retire. The Flyers also lost defenceman Matt Carle via free agency. He signed a six-year, $33 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.