Who will be Shea Weber's defense partner? - Thursday's notes

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 17: Tomas Holmstrom #96 of the Detroit Red Wings turns for the puck while being checked by of Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators during Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Now that we know Shea Weber will be anchoring the Nashville blueline for the long term, who will line up opposite him on the left side? That's probably the single-biggest roster question left hanging over this team ahead of next season.

Yesterday while driving home from work, I heard this question discussed on 102.5 The Game's Sports Night, and Darren McFarland was of the opinion that one of the young guns would be the best choice, because of Weber's ability to mentor them and boost their development.

Me? I'd go the complete opposite route. Hal Gill is here to (partially) be a mentor, but Weber needs to be a team leader, and he can't do that if he's keeping half an eye on his partner and has to be concerned about covering up for any mistakes.

No, give me a reliable (if not exactly sensational) veteran stopper, a guy who can take care of the dirty work and put the Captain in position to succeed. There should still be some room left in the budget to find a guy like that (see my projection from a couple days ago), although there aren't many options on the free agent market.

Ponder that issue while surfing through your hockey notes this morning...

He'll be a Pred for 14 years, so put a giant Shea Weber Fathead on your wall! Save 15% or more w/promo code SAVE35!

Nashville Predators News

Nashville Predators Shea Weber Signing Press Conference - NashvillePredators.com
Here you can find a transcript of what Tom Cigarran, Jeff Cogen, and David Poile had to say yesterday on the plaza outside Bridgestone Arena.

You can also listen to Preds minority owner Brett Wilson in an interview on Toronto radio right here:

Brett Wilson on FAN590 2012-07-25 (mp3)

$3.3MM Worth Of Advice | mc79hockey.com
Take in some insight on the question of Shea Weber's representation from a savvy observer from outside of both Nashville & Philly.

Boclair: Weber's deal balances the emotional books with Predators | Nashville City Paper
A 14-year contract means never having to say you're sorry.

Colin Wilson and Nashville Predators committed to each other going forward - Nashville Predators Examiner
The last sentence here is especially interesting, as I remember interviewing Colin as a rookie, and he told me at the time that he didn't need to get stronger, it was all about speed. Perhaps this represents an acceptance that he'll make his career as a winger, not a center?

Predators in on Shane Doan sweepstakes – USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen highlights Nashville's interest in the veteran winger.

The 303:30 – the Weber, Trotz conference call and reaction with Jesse Spector | Section 303
Following the plaza party, Shea Weber and Barry Trotz held a conference call for the media, and you can listen in right here.

Smashville 24/7 - Preds’ growth displayed with Weber decision
Over the last couple seasons, the team's on-ice success has been matched (or even exceeded) by the business side.

Paul McCann - RFA Lessons from The "Grim Reaper" plus some randoms
Paul checks in with Stu Grimson about his own offer sheet experience from ages past.

Amidst #WeberWatch, Pekka Rinne Deserves Recognition | The Predatorial
I guess it's been too long since someone pumped Pekka's tires.

Adult hockey lures players of all stripes | The Tennessean
Are there really 1,000 of us who play in adult leagues at Centennial? That's outstanding... now I just need to drop a few (dozen) pounds before the fall season kicks off! And you do play (or have kids who play), have you subscribed to my HockeyGearHQ newsletter?

Checking In With Public Address Announcer Matt Moore | Admirals Roundtable
Get to know Paul McCann's AHL counterpart.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Fehr says NHLPA close to counter-proposal - The Globe and Mail
Tuesday's session turned to the question of player discipline.

Should the NHL have a disciplinary appeals board? | Edmonton Journal
The players don't like the fact that if they don't like a Brendan Shanahan decision, the only appeal is to his boss, Gary Bettman.

Hockey Movie Character MVP Bracket : accepting nominations - Hockey Wilderness
There will be many excellent selections, but Reggie Dunlop has to be a #1 seed.

Nathan Horton has been cleared for contact and should be ready for next season | Backhand Shelf
Outstanding news for the Boston banger.

A look at the progression of EA Sports’ NHL series | Backhand Shelf
Also known as "the reason why it took Dirk 10 years to get through college".

Fabian Brunnstrom’s Departure No Surprise, No Loss for Red Wings - The Hockey Writers
Once hyped as the best player in the world outside the NHL, Brunnstrom notched a hat trick in his debut game (against the Preds, if you recall) but never really panned out.

Jordan Eberle's Shooting Percentage - The Copper & Blue
Who does he think he is, Sergei Kostitsyn?

Will the Edmonton Oilers be a playoff team in 2012-13? | Edmonton Journal
I'll go with "No".

Rick Nash Trade: Rick Nash Excited To Be A New York Ranger - Blueshirt Banter
New York fans should be excited, too. Between Nash & Gaborik, the Rangers will sport two very dangerous scoring wingers.

Peter Forsberg: Spleen not required. | Backhand Shelf
Oh yeah? Well, what's he going to vent when he gets angry?

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