Nashville Predators match Shea Weber offer sheet

May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) and goalie Pekka Rinne (35) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes beat the Predators 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The Nashville Predators announced today the good news we've all been waiting for since Wednesday night: they've matched the offer sheet and Shea Weber will be a Predator for the next 14 years.

Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2012) - In the most important hockey transaction in franchise history, Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile and CEO Jeff Cogen announced today that the team has matched the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet between the Philadelphia Flyers and defenseman Shea Weber, insuring that the Predators' captain will remain with the franchise for the next 14 years.

The decision to enter into the largest contract in franchise history was made by all parts of the organization, including ownership, hockey operations and business operations.

In the end, the Predators found a way to put together the cash to match the front-loaded deal that Philadelphia offered Nashville's captain.

Is this the most important deal in franchise history? On the surface it would seem so. The Predators have finally taken out the checkbook and signed its best player to a long-term deal that will keep him in Nashville for seemingly the rest of his carrer.

We'll have much, much more on this later, but for now, rejoice, Preds fans. The captain isn't going anywhere.

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