After two weeks of “cordial talks”, the first shots in the CBA battle were reportedly fired by the NHL on Friday. The owners’ proposal calls for substantial concessions from the players and would hamper the earnings potential of the league’s top stars.
Teams have already started to lock up players like Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) and Jordan Staal (Carolina), who were set to hit unrestricted free agency next season, before the new changes can take affect.
Shea Weber is currently a restricted free agent with the Nashville Predators and General Manager David Poile has made it known he wants to retain Weber long-term, especially in light of Ryan Suter’s recent departure for Minnesota.
But Jim Diamond of Examiner.com says the proposed CBA changes could have a dramatic impact on the future of Weber:
If Weber really wants out of Nashville, the 10-year trek to UFA status could be a huge barrier to his exit.
Reducing the amount of hockey related revenues could vastly impact the kind of money available to Weber in the coming seasons as well. With that kind of rollback of salaries, it would stand to reason that the current contracts would be decreased as they were in the last CBA.
Suter’s 13-year, $98 million contract can be seen as a starting point for Nashville’s negotiations with Weber. Suter’s contract is front-loaded, meaning most of the money is paid in the early years of the contract, but the hit to the salary cap is spread out over the life of the deal.
Under the proposed changes, Weber would only be able to sign for a maximum of five years and his salary would be evenly distributed throughout the length of the deal.