Given his status as a restricted free agent and the Detroit Red Wings' tendency to avoid giving out offer sheets, it wasn't believed that the team had pursued defenseman Shea Weber all that hard. While Weber did become a free agent on July 1, he was restricted, meaning the chances of the Red Wings being able to sign him without the Nashville Predators matching seemed slim.
The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping that they will be able to successfully sign Weber. He has already agreed to a mega offer sheet with the Flyers, and the Predators now have a week to decide if they want to match it. It's far from a slam dunk that they will match the offer given how much money Weber will be owed in the first couple years of the deal, so he could very well end up in Philly.
While the Red Wings never really became serious contenders to sign Weber, they did pursue him. According to The Tennessean's Greg Sullivan, the Red Wings hosted Weber for a visit after free agency began. The Free Press' Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings never spoke to Nashville about a possible trade, but they did speak to Weber's agent "numerous times." Unfortunately, the last discussion with his agent was when the Red Wings were informed that Weber was going to sign the Flyers' offer sheet. In other words, the Red Wings weren't really given any indication that Weber wanted to play in Detroit.
Had Wings been presented with possibility of Weber wanting to come to DET, maybe offer sheet considered. Never came to that.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) July 19, 2012
The Predators may decide to decline to match the offer sheet Weber signed with the Flyers, but it's hard to imagine that happening if he had signed with the Red Wings. It's one thing to let your best player go to another conference, but to a division rival? I couldn't see that happening no matter how the deal was structured. It's a moot point now anyway, though.
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