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Weber the latest in Philly’s history of offer sheets

Jul 19, 2012, 10:45 AM EDT

Shea Weber AP

The Philadelphia Flyers shook up the NHL by signing Nashville’s Shea Weber to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet.

At 26, Weber’s already a two-time Norris Trophy finalist and in the prime of his career, a big reason why the Flyers broke the bank to acquire his services.

While the financials and term of Weber’s deal may seem outlandish, it’s hardly the first time Philadelphia’s been wildly aggressive in its pursuit of a restricted free agent.

Here’s a recap of the Chris Gratton scenario of 1997, from USA Today:

This one got messy. The Philadelphia Flyers offered Tampa Bay Lightning center Chris Gratton a five-year, $16.5 million deal with a $9 million signing bonus. The Blackhawks said they had made a deal to acquire Gratton by trade and the Lightning, who were up for sale, argued that the Flyers’ faxed offer sheet was invalid because it was smudged. The case went to arbitration and the Flyers prevailed. But the teams essentially worked out a trade.

The Lightning didn’t match the offer and the Flyers sent Mikael Renberg and Karl Dykhuis to reacquire the four first-round picks they gave up. Gratton didn’t work out in Philadelphia and was traded back to Tampa Bay for Renberg in December 1998.

That was the first offer sheet of Bobby Clarke’s tenure as Flyers GM, but it wouldn’t be the last.

In 2006, Philadephia faced uncertainty at center with Keith Primeau sidelined by concussion and contemplating retirement. For insurance, Clarke targeted Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and signed him to a one-year, $1.9 million deal.

This was the first offer sheet of the post-lockout CBA and though the deal was relatively inexpensive, it made waves because A) Kesler was only 22, B) he was making $722,000 at the time and C) matching would put the Canucks dangerously close to the $44 million salary cap ceiling.

Clarke came under fire for the move, but shot back at his critics.

“We all have the same cap,” he told CBC. “We all operate in the same world. They had all summer to sign this guy. It was three days before training camp, he’s not signed, we’re going to lose Primeau [to retirement], so we took a shot at getting another centre.”

Clarke followed that statement with a theory on offer sheets that would ring very true.

“This is the first one,” he said, “but it’s not going to be the last.”

Related:

Report: Weber’s front-loaded offer sheet worth $110 million, packed with signing bonuses

Report: Philadelphia, Shea Weber agree on a 14-year offer sheet

On the chances of Shea Weber getting an offer sheet

  1. sknut - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I don’t see why GM’s get their undies in a bunch over RFA. Its in the CBA and the team that loses the player gets compensated. It’s a tool that smart teams use and if the other teams wanted their guy so bad sign him in the first place before another team does.

    • sandeepsingh1 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      You see this in the NBA all the time.

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        Actually, I do everything I can to make sure I see nothing in the NBA.

  2. chap6869 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Clarke was right , each team is working the same salary cap, the owners and players agreed to have the RFA offer sheets in the CBA so how can anyone complain when a team uses it. Even with that said, I can’t see Nashville letting him get away, they have to match to save face so, as a Flyers fan, I’m not all that excited about this offer sheet nor will I be until about 6 days and 13 hours from now.

    • barkar942 - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Correct. Each team does work with the same salary cap. However, some owners pockets are much, much fuller and deeper than other owners pockets and can afford to still spend more than others.

  3. jpat2424 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Hey that’s great. Going from one D bag team to another.

    • ct14flyers - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      And your a Red Wings fan! Congrats!

    • chap6869 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Hey, that’s great jpat2424. With immature and idiotic comments like that, you show just how much of a Dbag you are!

  4. mclovinhockey - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Honestly, if you want a player enough and other teams are in trouble go for it. It’s a business, the rules apply to all the teams. They can go after voracek right now if they want… Giroux in a few years…. It’s smart hockey.

  5. lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Ugh, I fart in Philly’s general direction. So are Philly and Nashville the only horses in this race or can other teams join in? Cuz here’s the options right now: 1) Weber goes to Nashville and languishes on team with anemic offense and a weakened d now that Suter’s gone or B) he goes to Philly, and nobody likes Philly but Philly. I’m sorry to sound like some Pittsburgh troll but honestly, this is the opposite of the Suter/Parise thing for me. I can’t see any silver lining if he ends up with either team, other than at least if he goes to Philly he’ll end up playing mostly with Canadian players. There’s gotta be SOMEBODY else out there who will jump on this.

    • jelliot1978 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      With Weber signing Philly’s offer sheet he now can only play for one of two teams next season Philly or Nash. The Flyers just guaranteed that the only team that Nash can talk to is them. Now what Nash can do is ‘offer’ to trade back some of the 1s for players (ie either/both Schenn, Coultier or anyone without a NTC not named Giroux) in order to not match the offer.

      If I were an odds maker I would put it at 60-70% that Nash matches, 25-40% trading of picks back for players, 0-5% Nash takes the 4 1s.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Thanks for the clarification. Wasn’t exactly sure what it meant with Weber’s signing. It’s an interesting situation nonetheless. It’s actually kind of win-win in the long term for Nashville. Either they get a whole bunch of picks/players or they get Weber. I’d agree with the idea that Nashville would ask for Coots/Schenn/potential top 6 player rather than 4 20+ overall picks too.

    • mojosmagic - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      Your farts along with a lack of a brain are inhibiting you from getting a hot chick or keeping a job. No other team can “join in”. Weber signed an offer sheet to play for the Flyers and even if Nashville matched he can’t be traded for another year, So pull out your free Crosby crying towel and go suck your thumb.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        With all due respect, just because I would gladly drop a deuce at center ice of the WFC does not mean I’m some piddling, whiny lowlife from the other side of your state. I have much more dignity than that. Furthermore, I’ve always retained my employment until I’ve decided to leave on my own will, I’m married to a beautiful woman, and I’m happy to say I cheer for the team that just recently signed a Mr. Zach Parise and a certain Mr. Ryan Suter, both of whom I should point out outright declined to join your pylon-colored team, despite receiving larger offers than the team they signed with. I have nothing to do with Crosby, except when he serves as a reminder of which country is truly the best at hockey. Cheers.

  6. claysbar - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    The Philadelphia Flyers offered Tampa Bay Lightning center Chris Gratton a five-year, $16.5 million deal with a $9 million signing bonus. Hell, that’ll only get you a 13th forward with the way things are going nowadays….

    • 28giroux28 - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      This is sarcastic right? Cuz that happened in 1997.

  7. jpat2424 - Jul 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Sorry if I insulted your intelligence. Should have just said flyers fans are D bags. We all know that to be true.

    • mojosmagic - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM

      Yea Detroit’s a cool city if you like empty boarded up buildings and 50% unemployment. I drove through there once and thought I was in Iraq again.

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