It’s fair to say that by pulling the trigger on the Rick Nash deal Monday Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather outfoxed the division rival Flyers, who would have made a huge run at the Columbus power winger this week if they couldn’t snatch Shea Weber from the Predators with that $110 million, 14-year offer sheet.
Well, too late.
Nash is a Ranger and the Predators stayed true to their word and matched the hostile takeover for their captain today, despite the bonus-filled package. Time for Plan C, Flyers.
As I wrote here on July 19, when the high-risk offer sheet was delivered, (go ahead doubters, you can look it up) Nashville’s ownership was pretty much forced to match or face the possibility of a dead-in-the-water franchise, with ticketholders and sponsors fleeing, dismayed players and more.
Imagine losing two of your top three players in one month and all you have to show are four draft picks? GM David Poile tried to acquire some top Flyers back in a trade, but the Philly management wouldn’t budge.
Now Poile controls the asset and the deck: If he so desires, he can keep Weber for a year or two or more, then shop him, save tens of millions and bring back some top talent and picks.
As for the Flyers, they swung and missed on two D targets (Ryan Suter and Weber) and will have to go fishing: Not a lot of quality D left in the UFA stream. Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan is a possibility, and I guess Philly boss Ed Snider and GM Paul Holmgren and Co. could throw an offer sheet at Montreal’s P.K. Subban and alienate the Canadiens as well…..