There’s No Defending Holland – He Blew It With Weber

So the Weber offer sheet wasn’t just a $100 dollar offer sheet, it was actually $110, and expertly crafted so it makes it so it is nearly impossible that Nashville can match, unless they find some serious money in those Nashville couch cushions.  Let’s look at some highlights of this deal, thanks to Deadspin

This deal is frontloaded, like all the other massive deals signed in recent years. …. $14 million a year for the first four years, $12 million each of the next two, $6 million in years seven through ten, then wee little payouts of $3M, $1M, $1M, and $1M. 

Signing bonuses. Weber will actually only make $1M in salary each of his first four seasons. But he’ll receive $52 million in signing bonuses over those four years, and $68 million over his first six. And signing bonuses cannot be touched by any proposed salary rollbacks. True, guaranteed money.

The signing bonuses also mean Nashville has almost no chance of matching the offer. They could match, and try to trade Weber to get something for him. But…they’d have to keep him for a full year before attempting to move him, and pay him $27 million for just that one season.

Emphasis mine there.   27 million is what the Preds will have to pay for Weber to play next year.   Can they afford this?  This is very reminiscent, yet more genius than the idea I wrote about not too long ago, where I stated that Kenny should try the following:  

Make a one year offer to Weber for something ridiculous, a number he can’t refuse.  Say $11 or 12 million, just for next year.  Maybe more.  This puts a lot of pressure on Nashville.  Can they afford $12 million on one player?

And, even if Nashville can match, think of it this way: this sets Weber up for UFA next season and the Wings are no worse off compared to where they started. 

The Flyers took that idea and made it more evil and ingenious.  I’m frankly pissed that Kenny didn’t try this or my idea.  

Hit the jump for my counterpoint to those defending Holland, including Winging It In Motown

Others are not so quick to jump on Holland.  J.J., over at Winging It In Motown, has a rebuttal to us naysayers. 

I want you to tell me, in nanoseconds, how long it would take David Poile to match this offer sheet if it came from Detroit.

I say not so fast.  Whether this deal comes from Detroit or Philly or the KHL, the issue here isn’t going to be where Weber ends up.   The issue here is going to be is can they afford the TWENTY SEVEN MILLION dollars in that first year.   That’s the issue.  This is their best player, the captain of their franchise.   If they can, they are going to match it, no matter what team it comes from.

Sure there might be a tiny bit more motivation for Nashville to sign if it was Detroit, but it’d be similar to the anger you’d have if I called you stupid before punching you in the face.  If you hit me back, it wouldn’t be back I called you stupid, it’d be because I broke your jaw with a right hook.  In deciding whether to match, the fact that Detroit is in the same division is completely secondary to the fact that Nashville simply might not have enough money to do so.  

J.J. has one other argument that I’d like to address:  

So, let’s assume that Ken Holland gave Shea Weber the same 14-year deal that Holmgren so bravely offered. Here’s what Ken Holland loses if the Preds match:

  • Shea Weber’s services
  • Every restful night’s sleep knowing that he signed the captain of a division rival to a 14-year deal for them.

So instead of taking a chance of actually signing him because he doesn’t want Nashville to be able to match, he let another team do exactly that.   That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me.  

The one thing that Polie probably is not going to do?  Trade Weber to Detroit, for all the reasons that JJ said.   But, this is exactly what Kenny was trying to do. Which of course, even if he was successful, would help Nashville out as well by the loads of players we would have gave them.   I’d be fine with that, but it’d be no different than dealing with him through the RFA way, other than it is more honorable.  

Simply put, I think Kenny blew it again by sitting on his ass.  Whether it was offering one year for a crap ton of money like I suggested or thinking of this 14 year “masterpiece,” he could have retained the title as the best GM in the league with a move like this.  But he’s been out-GM’ed all summer, first by Risebrough, Yzerman, and this time by Holmgren.

This has not been the summer of Ken as we’d hoped.