Shea Weber awarded $7.5 million on 1-year contract

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 22: Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators poses for a portrait during the 2011 NHL Awards at the Palms Casino Resort June 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Tim Wharnsby of the CBC just broke the following on Twitter:

Nashville's Shea Weber is awarded a $7.5 million salary arbitration.    

While the number is a tad higher than I would have expected, it's not completely out of the ballpark, and sets the table for an interesting set of choices for David Poile.

Shea Weber

#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators



Aug 14, 1985

2010 - Shea Weber 82 16 32 48 7 56 6 1 3 254 6.3

Based on the lineup listed below, the current total payroll for 2011-12 is $49.9 million, leaving a few million available to fill out the roster, based on previous statements by David Poile that salary for the team would be going up this season.

Forwards: David LegwandMartin EratMike FisherPatric HornqvistSergei KostitsynColin WilsonJordin Tootoo,Blake GeoffrionCal O`Reilly, Nick Spailng, Jerred SmithsonMatt HalischukNiclas Bergfors, and the J.P. Dumont buyout.

Defense: Shea Weber, Ryan SuterKevin KleinFrancis BouillonBrett LebdaJonathon Blum, and Tyler Sloan.

Goal: Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback.

You can shuffle some of the secondary names around (Sloan for Teemu Laakso, etc.), but those moves have a marginal effect on the overall salary level.

What Should David Poile Do Now?

The big question, of course, is where the Preds go from here. Do they hope to mend fences and get a long-term extension agreed to? Unfortunately, I don't see that as realistic.

If they haven't already, I'd suggest that a frank discussion takes place as soon as possible, to determine whether Weber really wants to stay in Nashville. If not, Poile should place word around the league that he's available.

Send those GM's off on their August vacations to muse over the possibility of adding one of the league's top defensemen to their lineup, and spend September angling for the best deal before training camps open.

Given all the maneuvers that Poile went through to clear out salary room this summer, it would seem that the money is there and available to meet Shea's needs. But if he's not confident in making a long-term commitment here, then Poile's mandate is get the highest return possible when he leaves.

Note: Thanks to PredsOddManRush on Twitter for clarifying that per Section 50.5f (iv) of the CBA, since this is a one-year contract Shea and the Preds can't sign an extension until January 1.

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