Predators sign Weber to three-year, $13.5 million deal Staff

6/23/2008 3:28:35 PM

Defenceman Shea Weber has signed a three-year, $13,5 million contract with the Nashville Predators, avoiding restricted free agency.

''Shea has evolved into one of our core players,'' said Predators' general manager David Poile. ''He is both a player and a person that every team covets. He is big and strong, skates well, and possesses a booming shot. Shea has also been a part of championship teams from the Memorial Cup in 2004 and the World Junior Championship in 2005, to the World Championships in Russia last summer.''

Weber established a career high in average time on ice (19:29), and tied personal bests in shots (152) and game-winning goals (2) last season, despite missing 28 games due to injury. In 161 career NHL games, Weber has amassed 70 points and 161 penalty minutes.

The team also announced the signing of goaltender Dan Ellis to a new two-year contract worth $3.5 million.

''We have the utmost confidence that Dan Ellis is a No. 1 goaltender in the National Hockey League,'' said Poile. ''When given the opportunity to display his skill and talent, he rose to the occasion, and was a crucial part of our team making the playoffs in 2008. We believe he, paired with Pekka Rinne, will make for a solid goaltending duo in 2008-09 and beyond.''

It's been a busy off-season for the Predators who also signed forward Martin Erat and defenceman Ryan Suter before each could reach restricted free agency.