Star defenseman signs huge offer sheet with Flyers

820757.jpg

Star defenseman signs huge offer sheet with Flyers

From Comcast SportsNet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A person with knowledge of the decision says the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville star defenseman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth more than 100 million. The Sports Network in Canada first reported the offer. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn't announced the offer. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed early Thursday that the Flyers did sign Weber to an offer sheet. He gave no further details. Predators part owner W. Brett Wilson posted on Twitter, "Am aware of Philly offer." Weber, 26, is the Predators' captain and played on a 7.5 million arbitrator's award last season. He had 19 goals and 49 points along the way. The team has seven days to match the offer. Nashville already lost free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter to Minnesota this summer, and losing Weber would be an unexpected blow to a defense-first team that had 104 points last season, took the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Weber would fill the void left by Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger's absence. Pronger -- a key cog in the Flyers' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals -- has been battling concussion problems and missed most of last season. He finished with one goal in 13 games as the Flyers bowed out in the second round to New Jersey after a promising, 103-point regular season. The Flyers were exposed on defense in a five-game, Round 2 loss to New Jersey, and since have lost defenseman Matt Carle, who snared a six-year, 33 million deal with Tampa Bay. Weber would fix a lot of those problems.

Quick Links

Braden Holtby wasting no time, will start Saturday against the New York Islanders

Braden Holtby wasting no time, will start Saturday against the New York Islanders

Team Canada just wrapped up a World Cup Tournament that included three exhibition games, three round-robin games, a semi-final and a two-game final. In those eight games, Braden Holtby saw only 29:40 of ice time, about one half of an exhibition game against Team USA.

Back with the Caps, Holtby will now look to make up for lost time as he will start in Saturday's preseason game against the New York Islanders.

Saturday's morning skate was the first time Holtby was back on the ice for the Caps, but with the season opener now only 12 days away, Holtby wants to start getting back into game shape.

Holtby acknowledged after Saturday's skate that he was not in game shape and had expressed a desire to the coaches to play in Saturday's game to try to get as much game action as possible.

"There's still enough time," Holtby said. "I've still been on the ice and doing some drills so it's not starting at square one but the game action is key. You can practice all you want, but once you get into a game it's completely different just getting the stamina back up, the mental stamina.

"Still got enough games to make sure we're ready."

RELATED: Holtby returns looking to 'use all the time I can'

Joining Holtby in his preseason debut will be head coach Barry Trotz who will be behind the bench for the first time in the preseason after coaching for Team Canada.

"Talked to Todd [Reirden] yesterday and he wanted me to come on the bench and we'll get everybody in our proper roles and so I will go on the bench tonight," Trotz said. "I wasn't expecting to, but I will. I didn't want to come in and just, 'hey the sheriff's in town.' These guys have done an exceptional job and I just didn't want to do that, but they came to me and said I think we just want to go to our roles here and let's go move forward."

The game will not be in Brooklyn in the Islanders' usual home of the Barclays Center, but rather in Bridgeport, Conn., the home of New York's AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Here are the lines based on Saturday's morning skate:

Marcus Johansson - Lars Eller - Justin Williams

Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Stanislav Galiev

Paul Carey - Chandler Stephenson - Brett Connolly

Liam O'Brien - Brad Malone - Riley Barber

The defensive pairs shuffled throughout the morning, but the six defensemen are Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos, Brooks Orpik, Aaron Ness, Tyler Lewington and Nate Schmidt.

Vitek Vanecek will backup Holtby.

MORE CAPITALS: Caps release promotional schedule including Star Wars Day

Quick Links

Braden Holtby returns to Caps after learning experience of the World Cup

Braden Holtby returns to Caps after learning experience of the World Cup

The World Cup of Hockey ended on Thursday, but Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is wasting no time in trying to get back into the rhythm with the Caps. Despite the tournament ending just two days ago in Toronto, Holtby practiced in the morning skate and will start for the Caps in Saturday's preseason game against the New York Islanders.

Holtby can now add World Cup champion to his growing resume as Canada was able to defeat Europe in two games, but he did not play as active a role with the team as had hoped. Despite being the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Holtby found himself relegated to third on the depth chart behind Carey Price and Corey Crawford.

But Holtby turned his time with Team Canada into a learning experience. He worked closely with Crawford and said he learned a lot from the two-time Stanley Cup winner.

"I really appreciate his game," Holtby said Saturday after morning skate. "You don't get to see him very much obviously being out west. He does some things outstandingly well that I can learn from him and try to get better at. Great guy, works really hard and earns what he gets and that was probably the best part of the experience."

Though Holtby said he had expected to take the role of No. 3 and was prepared for to be last on the depth chart heading into the tournament, he also acknowledged it was difficult getting into game shape and then slowing things down when practice began.

"It was tough," Holtby said. "It's almost like starting all over again after the first week of camp there because there wasn't much action as a goalie."

Participating in the World Cup also meant missing part of Caps' training camp. The further Canada went, the more time he would miss. For most players, missing training camp was not an issue as they were playing games in a competitive tournament.

"They were playing so that changes a little bit," Holtby said of the other participants. "Defintely not game shape yet for me."

Not only did Holtby not play a single game at the World Cup, being third on the depth chart also meant less practice time. Still, he said he does not feel behind in his preparations for the season.

"I really haven't missed that much of camp," Holtby said. "We've played two games, it's not a lot. ... You can be in the best shape of your life, but it doesn't make a difference when it comes to the body movements that come with goaltending."

While not concerned, Holtby still realizes the importance of getting game reps which is why he is wasting no time getting into the lineup and he said he wanted to play in Saturday's game.

Said Holtby, "I wanted to get back as soon as I could, get on the ice and make sure I could use all the time I can."

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS RELEASE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE INCLUDING STAR WARS DAY