Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shea Weber is a Nashville Predator

I can haz $8 mil?
I'll fully admit this: I don't know a whole lot about how the NHL arbitration process works, but I've been given a crash course over the past 24 hours. I do know, however, that the Twitterverse is overreacting to WeberWatch.

But, in the grand tradition of this baby blog, let's step back and look at this thing from a broader scope. Shea Weber will be wearing the Predators logo on his sweater next year. Right now, that's all we know. Beyond that, though, we'll figure out in due time, I guess. But we're supposed to be taking this one year at a time, right? Are we seriously worried right now about winning the Stanley Cup in 2014? I'm not. I want the Predators to win it in 2012, and I'm sure the Predators want to win it in 2012, too. Nobody in that organization, Shea Weber included, is considering 2011-12 a "building block" year toward a future Cup. The goal is to win it, and win it now. If that means this is the "all in" year (with apologies to Auburn University), then for goodness' sake, this is the "all in" year. I fully understand that it's best to look to the future when making plans, and I really want Shea Weber to spend the best years of his career here, but really, all we can control is what we can control right now, and that's the 2011-12 season that begins in 65 days (but who's counting?).

If we lose Shea Weber next year or the year after, that will suck. Acknowledged. I don't want that to happen. But the team (hopefully) will remain in Nashville, and we will press on with or without him. If Weber opts for the 1-year deal out of arbitration, let's just hope that he was true to his word in that he wants to stay here, and that the short-term deal is only to gauge the franchise as it works toward signing Pekka Rinne and Ryan Suter long-term, too, and maybe even getting a viable goal-scoring forward at the deadline.

The real thing to remember here, folks, is that we don't know everything we think we know. It's mostly speculation at this point. We're trusting reports out of Canadian MSM for the numbers we've heard so far, and we have no way of knowing if those are even right, nor do we know exactly what was said in the hearing. For all we know, this could be very amicable. I trust David Poile. He's proven over time that he knows what he is doing.

Go ahead and tell me I'm naive. That's what the comment section is for.

UPDATE: Later in the day, we found out that Weber received an arbitration award of a 1-year, $7.5 million contract. My previous statements still apply. The time to win the Cup is now (even if it is followed by a Florida Marlins-esque fire sale). I just hope Poile can surround our "Big 3" with the complementary talent they need to get the job done.

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