File this one under "why the heck did this take so long?"
Josh Cooper of the Tennessean reports this afternoon that Shea Weber's 14-year, $110 million contract has finally been signed, sealed & delivered, per his agent Jarrett Bousquet.
Recall that since the Preds agreed to match Philadelphia's offer sheet, by rule the financial terms of the contract were set and not open to negotiation. Weber's agents had asked for a no-trade and/or no-movement clause to be added, but really, what did they have to offer the team in exchange?
With this issue out of the way, not only is the contract finally registered with the NHL, but Weber can finally receive that initial $13 million signing bonus, which I'm sure his fiancee can put to good use planning their wedding.
Trade Chances Unlikely, But The Option Is Valuable
I know a story like this will have fans in some markets salivating about a possible trade for Weber in the near future, but the Preds aren't allowed to trade him for a full 12 months after matching his offer sheet, anyway. After that, they'll already have $27 million paid out to him, and it would make little sense to let him leave after much of the highest-cost days of the contract have passed.
The Preds do have the option of moving Weber down the road at their own discretion, however, which could prove important. Remember, this is a guy with a concussion history, so a Matthew Lombardi-type situation is not out of the question at some point, where a wealthy team could better afford the financial risk associated with a top-notch, but injured player with an uncertain future.
It's not anything we want to obsess about, but having that option available is an important bit of risk management for a budget-conscious team like Nashville.