Rumor Roundup: Is the time right to trade Shea Weber?

Shea Weber (Getty Images)

While the Nashville Predators matched a 14-year, $110-million offer sheet for captain Shea Weber from the Philadelphia Flyers in July 2012, he’s remained the subject of annual off-season trade speculation.

Weber’s value to the Predators and the expense of his contract are usually cited as reasons why he won’t be dealt, but Yahoo Sports’ Josh Cooper believes the time could be right to trade him within the next year. Among the factors justifying this move includes the potential for a strong return, the expense of re-signing Filip Forsberg and Seth Jones next year and the possibility the 29-year-old defenseman’s performance could be about to decline.

Unlike most stars of Weber’s caliber, he lacks a no-trade clause in his contract. The Predators can entertain offers from around the league and ship him anywhere without his consent.
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Colin Wilson signs four-year, $15.75 million deal with Predators

Jared Clinton
Colin Wilson. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Cross out another arbitration case as the Nashville Predators and restricted free agent Colin Wilson have come to terms on a four-year, $15.75 million contract.

The Predators announced the signing of Wilson on Monday morning and unveiled the terms of the contract via a release on the team’s website. Wilson’s new deal, which carries a $3.9375 million cap hit, will pay him $3.75 million in the first season of the contract, with each of the following three years paying out $4 million per campaign. Overall, it’s a brilliant deal for Nashville.

The raise for Wilson is a significant one, as he nearly doubles his salary from the past three seasons, but it doesn’t come even close to breaking the bank for the Predators. Following his entry-level deal, Wilson inked a three-year, $6 million deal that expired at the end of this past season.

Wilson, 25, was a first-round selection, seventh overall, of the Predators in the 2008 draft. Over his six seasons in the NHL, Wilson had shown steady growth, but it wasn’t until this past season that he really broke out. Read more

Cody Franson says he’s waiting on right fit, sick of one-year deals

Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

If you were wondering what has taken so long for defenseman Cody Franson to sign a new contract, you’re not alone. Franson himself seems to be getting impatient.

In an interview with TSN 1040 in Vancouver, Franson opened an interview with questions about his contract and when hosts Matt Sekeres and Jeff Paterson remark that they thought Franson would have a contract by now, the unrestricted free agent blueliner said they weren’t the only ones.

“You and me both,” remarked Franson. Read more

Craig Smith, Predators far apart as arbitration approaches

Jared Clinton
Craig Smith (John Russell/Getty Images)

Barring a last minute signing, the first arbitration case of the summer will be heard Monday, and Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators might be farther apart than expected.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Smith’s current ask is $4.75 million per season, with the Predators looking for a $3 million settlement with their 25-year-old right winger. Smith, a restricted free agent, is coming off of a two-year, $4 million contract.

While he’s flown largely under the radar on a club whose faces are all defensive stars, such as Shea Weber, Seth Jones and goaltender Pekka Rinne, Smith has been a steady second-line scorer for the Predators over the past two seasons. Smith scored 47 goals and 96 points over the past two seasons while averaging between 13 to 15 minutes of ice time per game on his last deal. That’s not including his rookie campaign in 2011-12, in which he scored 14 goals and 36 points. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Franson still looking for fit in free agency

Lyle Richardson
Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nearly three weeks into the NHL’s free-agency period, former Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson remains unsigned. In a free-agent market decidedly thin on quality talent, the 27-year-old blueliner was considered among the top players available.

It was expected Franson would be among the players signed with the first 24 hours of free agency. That he’s still without a contract entering late-July is drawing headlines as free-agent activity slows down.

CBS Sports’ Adam Gretz suggests Franson’s high asking price could be a factor, speculating the blueliner seeks a deal comparable to the annual cap hit ($5.75 million) of Washington’s Matt Niskanen. Gretz also thinks the decline in Franson’s performance following his February trade from Toronto to Nashville hurts his free-agent value.

The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples cites TSN’s Craig Button forewarning Franson’s lack of speed could be an issue. While acknowledging the rearguard’s lumbering style, Staples points out he’s an excellent passer with a strong snapshot from the point. He believes Franson is best suited as a second-pairing defenseman. Read more

Flyers re-sign Michael Del Zotto, who completes his comeback

Michael Del Zotto  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto has a new two-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers that will pay him an average of $3.8 million per campaign. It’s a nice raise for a player the Flyers took a chance on this season and a bit of security for a still-young D-man who believes he found himself in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.

A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”

Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.

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Predators’ Ribeiro reaches out-of-court settlement in sexual assault case

Jared Clinton
Mike Ribeiro. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The sexual assault case against Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro has been settled out of court.

Ribeiro was accused by a former nanny of making unwanted sexual advances, which, the complaint stated, resulted in her suffering, “anguish, medical treatment, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment, humiliation, shame, fright and damage to her reputation as a result of the actions committed by Ribeiro and Williams.”

The Nashville Post reported Thursday that the suit was settled as the result of an eight-hour mediation, which took place July 6. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Read more