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Should Preds give Weber no-trade clause?

An interesting and important wrinkle to Shea Weber’s 14-year, $110 million offer sheet is that a no-trade clause was not included when the Philadelphia Flyers drew up the contract. According to ESPN.com, Weber’s agent, Jarrett Bousquet, would like to add a no-trade or no-movement clause to the contract.

Should David Poile and the Predators oblige?

When Poile was asked about the matter at the press conference outside of Bridgestone Arena, he said, “That’s one of the details I have to talk to them (Weber’s camp) about.”

On Wednesday’s conference call, Weber went out of his way to mention he wanted a no-movement clause because he is “committed to staying [in Nashville].”

If Poile opts to restructure the contract to meet Weber’s demands, the longtime Predators GM would be surrendering some of his power. It may not be a wise thing to do.

Weber exercised his own power to go down the offer sheet road, which put the Predators in a precarious spot. Poile can in turn exercise his power and not give Weber a no-trade clause. Weber and his camp may not like that, but as the Predators captain said Wednesday, that’s the “business side” of things.

When players have too much power it can hurt their respective teams. Just ask the Columbus Blue Jackets. Everything seemed to be fine and dandy when Rick Nash signed his eight-year, $62.4 million contract prior to the 2010-11 season. Less than two years later he asked for a trade out of Columbus.

The problem for Columbus GM Scott Howson was that Nash’s no-movement clause hamstrung the team’s ability to get a fair trade return. Nash submitted a list of six teams in which he would accept a trade to. Out of those six, there only seemed to be one or two matches for Howson, which killed his negotiating leverage.

In the end Howson settled for a watered-down package from the New York Rangers that didn’t come close to the GM’s initial asking price. The same thing happened in 2009 when Ottawa’s Dany Heatley controlled his fate when he accepted a deal to San Jose over Edmonton.

If Weber and the Predators ever head down that road – which can’t be dismissed, due to the length of this contract and the unknown of how things could change over time – Poile would obviously want as many options as possible when it comes to trying to acquiring a hefty package in return. Poile can lend himself that freedom right now by not giving Weber a no-trade clause.

Then the attention would then turn to whether that would disgruntle Weber. He said all the right things Wednesday in regards to his feelings towards Nashville, but that doesn’t change the fact that he reportedly visited four different teams this month. If Poile doesn’t give him a no-trade clause, would it create more “business” tension between the two sides?

Poile has always been loyal to his players, which makes some believe he will give in to Weber in this situation. But this is a time where Poile should keep loyalty on the backburner and make a decision that is best for the franchise. Weber is the face of the franchise, but would Poile want to give him the power to stay all 14 years or handcuff him in future trade negotiations (again, if it ever gets to that point)?

It may now seem like a small thing on the surface, but this is an important decision for the future.

 
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