As the August 2nd arbitration case looms large, the people of Nashville are becoming as tense as goalie facing down a Weber Slapshot. That tension broke on twitter yesterday when the news was leaked that Weber's people were asking for eight million dollars before the Stamkos deal was dropped. Debates exploded and many camps broke out. Different topics raged, do we need Weber, can the Preds keep all the big three intact, and the topic that I took to, does Weber deserve money like Stamkos or Richards.
The answer, as sad as it may be for the Predators, is yes, he deserves every bit of superstar money. Weber's accolades include: being on the top pair of team Canada's gold medal winning Olympic team, he was named to the Olympic all-star team for that performance, he has made the Nhl All-star team twice, the eighth overall pick in the fantasy draft, and was a finalist for the soon to be Lidstrom trophy that today we call the Norris. Weber is tied with Mike Greene (an offensive specialist) for most goals by a defenseman since the start of the 06 season. This past year Weber was top five in defensemen in the categories of goals and shots, as well as top ten in points. The man can play in the offensive zone, there are no doubts about that.
As captain of the Predators, Shea Weber led the Predators to their first ever second round berth where they played the Vancouver Canucks. I mention this because in that series, one of the most dangerous lines in all of hockey, Sedin-Sedin-and whoever they feel like including, saw its worst series of the playoffs. To get to the Canucks, the Predators had to beat the Anaheim ducks. Through out that series, Shea Weber and his defense partner Ryan Suter had to match up with possibly the best line in all of hockey, Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan. As you may have concluded from the fact that the Predators won the series, and Weber's positive four rating.
Plain and simple, the Weber is a star defender and for good reason. The pairing of Suter and Weber can run with any line in the Nhl. Weber may not have won the Norris this year, but it will happen and it will happen multiple times. I know that it is not a good thing for the Predators, but Shea Weber deserves super star money. This team needs Shea Weber, he is the face of this team and will be for a long time, hopefully. He may or may not be the better defense man on the line, it is really an apples and oranges question. Shea Weber brings certain aspects to this team that no other player can. There is only one other player with a slapshot like Weber's and he is not leaving Boston. Weber is a part of this teams history, and will hold every record that the team can think of whether it is for a long or short time. Give Weber whatever money he wants, as long as we lock him up for the rest of his playing career.