As the off season for the Nashville Predators begins so continues speculation about free agency. General Manager David Poile says signing restricted free agent Shea Weber to a new deal is the Predators top priority.
While the Predators and Weber’s agent have met a couple of times during the season, negotiations were put off until Nashville’s season was over.
“They definitely want to wrap it up before July 1,” Poile said about the possibility of having Weber signed to a deal before the July 1st deadline.
If the Predators sign Weber to a new deal or if salary arbitration is sought before July 1st, other teams will not be able to sign the All-Star defenseman to an offer sheet. If the deadline passes and an offer sheet is signed, the Predators can still match it.
The morning after the Nashville Predators won their first ever playoff series by beating Anaheim 4-2, Predators Captain Shea Weber received his first ever Norris Trophy nomination.
The Norris Trophy is given to the defenseman judged to be the best in the National Hockey League.
This season,Weber tallied 16 goals and added 32 assists for 48 points. He was 6th in the League for hits by a defenseman, 2nd in takeaways for his position, 3rd on defense in shots.
Weber was third in ice time for the entire 2010-11 season averaging 25:19 per game. It was a career season for Weber who set career highs in games played (82), average ice time, assists (32) and shots (254).
When the Nashville Predators visited San Jose on March 8th, Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said “I hear there is consideration of Rinne for the Hart. I wouldn’t argue that.”
The Hart Trophy is awarded to the player who is considered to be the most valuable to his team.
In the New York Times“Morning Skate” on March 21, Christopher Botta wrote “Pekka Rinne deserves consideration to be the third man when the finalists are announced. The Nashville goaltender is as valuable to the Predators as any player — forward, defenseman or goalie — is to his team.” Steven Stamkos and Daniel Sedin are considered the favorites.
Shea Weber’s overtime goal lifted the Nashville Predators over the Boston Bruins by a 4-3 score on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The goal, Weber’s 16th of the season, also lifted Nashville’s Captain to 80 career goals, the franchise record for goals by a defenseman. Kimmo Timonen, now a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, previously held the record with 79 goals.
- Weber celebrates after scoring in overtime (AP)
“I didn’t even know that,” Weber said when he was asked about the record, ”It’s pretty neat. It’s obviously a huge honor, there have been so many good defensemen on this team. Hopefully, I can keep it going.”
The game was a see-saw battle between two gritty teams. Boston opened the scoring at just 1:50 into the first period when Tyler Seguin notched his 11th goal of the season. Former Predator Rich Peverley and Tomas Kaberle picked up the assists.
Team Lidstrom edged Team Staal by a score of 11-10 at the 58th NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Raleigh, North Carolina. Nashville’s captain, Shea Weber, was on the ice for 8 of Team Lidstrom’s goals, was a plus 6, recorded four assists and saw nearly 20 minutes of ice time.
Weber’s statistics for Sunday were among the most impressive of the All-Stars, but Weber wasn’t keeping track. “I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to have a good time playing with Nick and enjoy watching him.”
The skills competition was a big hit Saturday night at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Hardest Shot competition was the main event for Nashville Predators fans where Captain Shea Weber came second to Zdeno Chara in 2009, the last time there was an NHL All-Star game.
Two players go head-to-head and then the two players with the top two hardest shots go against each other to see who has the hardest shot in the NHL.
Weber was pitted against Chara and in the first round beat Chara with a 104.8 mph shot. Chara was shooting in the 101 mph range.
When each shooter that was competing for Team Staal and Team Lidstrom was done, it was again down to Chara and Weber.
Chara would not be denied and in fact broke his own record set in 2009 with a shot that registered at 105.9 mph.
Even the players themselves were talking about, Chara vs. Weber — who will win the hardest shot competition?
When Team Staal chose Zdeno Chara seventh overall, Team Lidstrom chose Shea Weber with their next selection and stated it was to counter the selection of the Boston Bruins’ big guy.
Nashville’s captain, Shea Weber, makes his second consecutive appearance in the NHL’s All-Star game this weekend. Friday night, Weber was drafted as the third defensemen picked, eighth overall, onto Team Lidstrom.
Weber said he didn’t expect to be drafted that high and he wasn’t sure if picking him was, as Martin St. Louis said when making the announcement, an answer to Team Staal picking Zdeno Chara.
In addition to Weber, Team Lidstrom featured a defense corps that included last year’s Norris Trophy winner, Duncan Keith, former Blackhawk and an early candidate for the Norris this year, Dustin Byfgulien, Keith Yandle who leads Phoenix in points, the Minnesota Wild’s Brent Burns, and, of course, Lidstrom himself.
The Nashville Predators captain, Shea Weber has been named to this year’s NHL All Star Game at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The All-Star weekend is January 29-30. It is the second straight NHL All-Star Game that Weber has been named to.
Weber, who leads the team in points with 24 (seven goals and 17 assists in 41 games), is a plus 4, and is currently on a five-game point with two goals and seven assists. The captain also has 14 points in his last 14 games.
The Predators All-Star defenseman is in the top 20 category for several statistics in the NHL this season. Weber is among the top 20 defensemen in points, is tied for ninth in hits with 107, and ranks second in shots for blue liners with 135. Weber also ranks 10th in average ice time at 24:45.
Weber, along with his defensive partner Ryan Suter, are Nashville’s top defensive pairing on a defense squad that is among the best in the League. The home penalty kill is ranked first in the NHL at 87.9 percent, and are fifth overall with a kill off rate of 85.4 percent.
The format of the All-Star Game has changed this year. There is no longer a game between the stars of the two conferences. Instead, Weber will be a part of a player fantasy draft on January 28th. The draft will be televised on Versus at 7 pm.
The 58th NHL All-Star Game will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30.
Originally posted on Predlines
The Nashville Predators have scored 84 goals this season, 15 of them have come from defensemen. Nashville is among the elite in teams that boast defense corps which aid in registering goals with only Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington and Buffalo with more blue line tallies. For a team that lacks that Sidney Crosby or even Rick Nash-type star forward, the Predators are a much more dangerous team when the defense jumps into the play.
Last year 32 of Nashville’s 225 goals were scored by defensemen, 14%. Of course, that includes Shea Weber’s 16 tallies. This year, the Predators rank in the top ten for NHL scoring by defensemen, with 15 goals in 33 games, only five have come off the stick of Weber.
Head coach Barry Trotz notes that Nashville’s defensemen can all skate well and that makes it possible for them to jump up into the play to create odd-man situations. As a result, four of the Predators top six defensemen are on pace to break last years totals, and those totals may be smashed, not just broken.