"We wanted to take advantage of this CBA because we're not sure what the economic landscape will look like in the next CBA," Bousquet said. "With this, he got some security with him and his family. He's in a place that's familiar to him and ownership's proven that they're solid and ready to step up."
Nashville took Weber, the team's fourth pick in the second round in that same 2003 draft, to arbitration a year ago and couldn't take the restricted free agent there again this summer.
The Predators said the decision to match the offer came down to three factors.
— Was Weber the individual that this franchise wanted to lead our team, a team that would compete for the Stanley Cup every year, for the next 14 years?
— Would matching the offer sheet be in the best long-term interest of the team and organization?
— Would a decision not to match the offer sheet send a negative message to current Predators players and other NHL organizations, a message that the Predators would only go so far to protect its best players and be pushed around by teams with "deep pockets?"
"The answer to each of the above questions is clearly "yes,'" the team said.
The Flyers are left to figure out what's next.
Dan Gelston can be followed at http://twitter.com/apgelston
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