Shea Weber was awarded a one year deal worth $7.5 million through arbitration this week. The 25-year old Canadian defenceman played in all 82 regular season games for the Predators and 16 goals, 32 assists for a total of 48 points. He was also a +7 rating.
(Weber will be back on the blueline for Nashville this season. Photo: W.T.P.)
The $7.5 million is a new NHL Arbitration record. The previous record was held by John LeClair and Scott Niedermayer who were both award $7 million. LeClair received his award in 2000 with the Philadelphia Flyers while Niedermayer was awarded the $7 million in 2004 while with the New Jersey Devils.
Weber played a key roll in the success of the Nashville Predators last year. For the first time in franchise history they advanced through round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs before being knocked off in 6 games by the Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks. The combination of Weber, Ryan Suter, and goaltender Pekka Rinne was one of the best defensive cores in the NHL last year and now the three will be back together for at least the start of the 2011-2012 season.
The website Cap Geek, which tracks the NHL's salary statistics, has Shea Weber has the 5th highest paid defenceman in the league behind Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo), Zdeno Chara (Boston), Duncan Keith (Chicago) and Chris Pronger (Phildelphia). In terms of cap hit, Weber will be the highest for a defenceman next season, just ahead of Brian Campbell who will earn over $7.1 million for the Florida Panthers.
Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators will open the 2011-2012 season in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.