May 7, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) 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
We stand on the brink of a new era in Nashville Predators hockey.
The Preds are already in a state of transition, as the next generation of young players (Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, Craig Smith, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis) step into larger roles, and the team settles in for the long term with franchise goaltender Pekka Rinne. On defense, we know that the dynamic duo of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber has been broken up, but the question now is, does Weber want to lead this team into the future, or will he choose his own path out of town as well?
This is shaping up to be the most important off-season since the Great Fire Sale of 2007, and we'll just have to wait and see which direction the team heads in. Do they try and maintain the stud pairing on the blueline by finding Weber a big-name partner on the trade market, or find a star talent to add up front?
Consider the alternatives while reading your morning hockey notes...
Does Ryan Suter's exit send a message about Nashville Predators? | The Tennessean
David Climer asks an uncomfortable question, which doesn't just apply to Ryan Suter, but the lack of commitment by Shea Weber as well.
Sergei Kostitsyn files for arbitration for second consecutive year - Nashville Predators Examiner
Will SK74 hit the jackpot?
Shea Weber declines arbitration with Nashville Predators | The Tennessean
...and Ryan Suter says David Poile must have been mistaken about being misled.
Agent: Shea Weber in state of disbelief - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN
I wonder if Shea will use the word "betrayed", as he did with Radulov & AK46. Nah, I'm guessing the disbelief is over how much money he's going to get NOW.
Shea Weber’s long-term future in Nashville likely decided in next two months - Nashville Predators Examiner
And you thought LAST summer's #WeberWatch was stressful...
Smashville 24/7 - What Weber’s arbitration decision means
I would add a third option to Ryan's analysis here - that Weber wants to wait and see how the situation with Nashville and/or the CBA negotiations look before entering his next contract. Arbitration locks him into a specific timetable.
What To Do With Shea Weber | Overtime
It all sounds so simple...
Ryan leaves, David feels jilted, Fans get angry. - Predlines
Dan sums up reaction from all corners.
Trading Shea Weber | Bobby Holik - Holik on Hockey
I just don't see the scenario Holik tosses out here happening.
Paul Gaustad: Two for the Price of One…Plus $550,000 | The Predatorial
Jeremy's a big fan of the Gaustad contract.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Lowetide.ca | OILERS SIGN DUBNYK, PETRY (GAGNER TO ARBITRATION)
Devan Dybnyk gets $3.5M a year? LOL, Edmonton.
Blues Re-Sign David Perron To Four Year Deal - St. Louis Game Time
St. Louis locks up one of their key forwards.
What's Next, N.H.L. Bidders? A 20-Year Contract? - NYTimes.com
Pointing out the hypocrisy of NHL owners will be a recurring theme this summer.
Glendale taxpayers threaten to torpedo Coyotes sale - The Globe and Mail
The bumpy ride through the desert continues...
Red Wings Name Former Edmonton Head Coach Tom Renney Associate Coach - Winging It In Motown
You know, that's a pretty savvy pickup there.
Scott Howson vs. the World | Backhand Shelf
The World is winning...