Did Weber want to remain a Predator all along?
Maybe it was spin or maybe it was genuine, but Shea Weber on Wednesday made it very clear he had hoped to remain in Nashville all along.
Weber, whom the Flyers attempted to bring to Philadelphia by signing him to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet, finally addressed the media after spending the last week out of the public eye.
And Flyers fans probably won’t be thrilled with what he had to say.
“You know what … I think we utilized the CBA the best we could while it’s the way it is,” Weber said of his reasons for signing the Flyers’ offer. “I love it in Nashville. The team stepped up and showed that they’re going to bend with the best of teams, and now we can focus on the season, and hopefully get some more pieces of the puzzle and build a contending team for a long time.”
The Flyers tendered the offer sheet to Weber late on July 18. In the hours that followed, Weber’s agents Jarrett Bousquet and Kevin Epp went on a veritable pro-Philadelphia media tour, telling multiple news outlets that Philadelphia is a “destination” city for NHLers, that Weber didn’t want to be a part of another rebuilding season, that “things changed” for him in Nashville when his defensive partner Ryan Suter left for Minnesota.
Yes, one probably shouldn't expect anything but positive remarks in a press conference like the one Weber participated in on Wednesday. But nonetheless, Weber claimed that those assertions weren’t his own.
“That was [my agents’] feelings, I guess,” Weber said. “I was never a part of any of that. I didn’t make any statements publicly. I love the city of Nashville. I love my teammates. I love the fans. It’s a very positive thing that the ownership has stepped up and they’re going to be a team that’s going to spend to the cap and brings guys in.”
Terms in the CBA forbid Nashville from trading Weber for one year, but some analysts suggested shortly after the Predators matched the Flyers’ offer sheet that, perhaps, Weber could still become a Flyer at some point down the road.
Weber, however, but the kibosh on that idea as one that he's interested in, as well.
“I’m comfortable staying there [Nashville] for my career,” he said. “We’ve made that clear to the organization, we’re trying to get a no-movement clause because we’re committed to staying there … this is a place I could see myself for the rest of my career.”E-mail Sarah Baicker at firstname.lastname@example.org