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Time has come for the Nashville Predators to put up or shut up: Thursday's notes

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April 27, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) reacts in game one of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
April 27, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) reacts in game one of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Well well well... that's what I get for going to bed at 11:30. The Shea Weber offer sheet business blew up shortly before midnight last night, leaving fans with a boatload of questions - can the Predators match? Should they match, considering their captain just signed an offer sheet? Does Weber really want to be here?

At first blush, to me it looks like Philadelphia did the Predators a huge favor here, setting up a contract of "14 years, upwards of $100 mil" per TSN's Darren Dreger. As difficult as it might be, the Preds simply have to match this offer and keep their captain in the fold.

History shows us a few good examples of key players on teams receiving offer sheets like this, which the team matched and went on to have success together, so unless Weber is flat-out demanding a ticket out of town, the Nashville Predators simply must match this deal, as onerous as it probably will be in the short term.

Joe Sakic, 1997

The New York Rangers signed Sakic to a 3-year, $21 million with $17 million of it paid in the first year, but Colorado matched the deal and both sides lived happily ever after.

Sergei Fedorov, 1998

Just months after helping the Red Wings win the 1997 Stanley Cup, Fedorov holds out as a Restricted Free Agent, well into the next season. The Carolina Hurricanes eventually ink him to a 6-year, $38 million deal, which included a provision (not allowed now) of a $12 million bonus if his team reached the conference final that year, something the Red Wings were likely to do, but not the Canes. Mike Ilitch didn't hesitate to match the deal, and Detroit went on to repeat as Cup champs that season (Fedorov earned $28 million for playing less than half that season), and add another with Fedorov in 2002 before parting ways the next year.

So yes, Virginia, Shea Weber & the Nashville Predators can have a long, happy career together, if the Preds can get the money together to match what is likely to be a king's ransom in the early stages of this contract.

But you know what? It's worth it. Weber is one of the handful of consistently elite players in this league, and if there's any way Nashville can lock him up long-term, they have to do it.

Now, let's see if there's anything else going on in the hockey world this morning...

Nashville Predators News

Wake up! Right now! Paul Holmgren sends Shea Weber 14-year, $100 million offer sheet - Broad Street Hockey
Check out the Philly side of the discussion...

Philadelphia Sabotages Shea Weber Trade with Offer Sheet - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Bruce argues that perhaps Philly did this to prevent other teams from getting Weber in trade.

Klein: "I love Nashville" - Predators Insider
Kevin Klein is due to be a UFA next summer, and I think people might be shocked at what he could command on the open market.

Smashville 24/7 - What’s the toughest arena to play in?
Shame on Ryan for not introducing this post in classic Richard Dawson "Family Feud" style. "Top six answers are on the board... here's the question. We polled 100 NHL players about the toughest arenas to play in... SURVEY SAYS!"

Is Trading For Shea Weber Worth It? | Overtime
In a hilarious bit of timing & luck, yesterday I wrote about Weber getting an offer sheet, while Sam wrote about him being traded (at least Sam got the team right).

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

NHL states desire to settle CBA talks by Sept. 15 -
Cordiality continues to rule the day.

NHL labor talks resume as players ponder league's proposal - ESPN
More on yesterday's session between the owners and players.

An Afternoon With Former Avalanche Enforcer Scott Parker: Part 2 - Mile High Hockey
This is absolutely must-read stuff, the most entertaining interview with a hockey player I've seen in a LOOOOOOONG time. And the bit about goats... that's just killer.

An Open Letter to the Niagara Falls Reporter - Pension Plan Puppets
Holy cow, what a troglodyte this guy is, linking the "You Can Play" initiative with the anti-fighting movement in hockey.

Puckhead's Thoughts: Calle Johansson Tapped As Assistant Coach
I'm just including this so J.R. Lind will feel compelled to pump this post via social media.

Why the Anaheim Ducks Will Bounce Back Next Season - The Hockey Writers
I tell ya, I really like the hiring of Bruce Boudreau there.

Kyle Quincey Re-Signs with Red Wings for Two Years, Avoids Arbitration - Winging It In Motown
Well, they couldn't land Ryan Suter, and they already let Brad Stuart go, so they had to sign somebody.

Accounting for Teammates Part 1: Corsi Rel and WOWY |
Context, kids, it's important.

Improving AHL Equivalencies: AHL to NHL Shot Metrics Translations |
I really, really, really dig what's being done here. As a one-off piece, I looked at shots-per-game totals for Patric Hornqvist going back to his days in the Swedish Elite League, which showed him to be a shotmeister of the highest order, even back then.

Introducing the Whalers Meter - Hockey Wilderness
OK, this is funny.

CCM & TaylorMade's new RBZ hockey stick available for pre-order | Hockey Gear HQ
We all know the great iconic hockey brands found in every locker room: CCM, Bauer, Easton, Reebok, etc. But TaylorMade? What does a golf club company have to do with hockey? Quite a lot now, thanks to a new joint venture...

Rec Hockey Tips: Come back to the puck already, forwards | Backhand Shelf
There isn't much out there more annoying than some guy floating up near the blueline like a freaking weather balloon.