Weber Shining in Olympic Spotlight

One of the National Hockey League’s top defenseman, Nashville Predators Shea Weber has thrived when given the opportunity to play on big stages.

To this point in his career, the biggest platform presented to the Predators captain has been the Winter Olympics. The blueliner excelled in the 2010 Vancouver games and is shining again in this year’s Olympiad.

Two contests into the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Weber has tallied a goal in each game and registered big minutes on Canada’s top defensive pairing.

Certainly, it helps that Weber is playing with Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (someone battling Weber for the Norris Trophy) and the rest of Canada’s uber-talented roster, but seeing Nashville’s captain excel against the world’s elite is encouraging.

The British Columbia native’s ability to make smart plays and pick up crucial goals in the Olympics, further solidifies Weber’s elite status and the Predators decision to invest and build their entire team around the blueliner.

Yes, there will always be questions of: “What’s the return if Weber is traded?” (we’ve even raised them ourselves), but there’s a reason the old saying goes: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Meaning, if the Predators traded Weber for even two or three “potentially” good players, there’s always a risk the team could never again hold something comparable to the superstar they have right now.

This is exactly why the Predators organization matched the huge offer sheet Weber signed with Philadelphia in 2012, and it’s also why, along with Pekka Rinne, they have to try and win with their stars now.

So don’t let the significance of Weber clearly being one of the best players in the 2014 and 2010 Olympic games escape you. It means that the Predators don’t just have a player that shines in the smaller lights of the regular season, it means they have a rare thing in someone who always stands out, no matter how big the moment.

 

Thomas Willis is the Manager/Editor of Predlines.com and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TomAWillis. For the latest updates in Predator news, follow @PredlinesNSH

Topics: Nashville Predators, Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Winter Olympics

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  • R. Crompton

    There’s no advantage to trading your best defenceman and arguably, the league’s best when he’s still under 30. Weber’s in his prime and should remain so for another 5 seasons (barring injury). He tied with Drew Doughty for the most points among Team Canada players at Sochi, had the most on-ice time and played almost flawlessly in a defensive capacity. And in consideration of his shot from the point, who in the NHL can compare with him? Boston’s Chara may have a slightly faster slapper, but his is never so accurate as Weber’s. Most goalies move only after it’s behind them. At the 2010 Olympics at Vancouver, Weber let one go from the blueline that went right through the netting. That’s a hard shot! The Preds should dismiss any thought of trading Weber for players (or unproven draft choices) who just may not fit in. As Trotz has stated, If Weber goes, the hole left behind would be too great to fill.

  • Predlines.com

    I think the trade questions are raised for two predominate reasons. (1) Other teams/fans really want a guy like Weber (you saw that again this week with the Oilers writer) and (2) because Nashville hasn’t won a championship, there’s speculation that their recipe isn’t working and something needs to be changed.

    You’re right that it would be a very high risk to trade Weber. If you did that, you’d be putting a whole lot of confidence in Roman Josi and Seth Jones and hoping whatever player(s) (probably forwards) received would change the makeup of Nashville and push them over the top.

    I can see merit in both the keep and trade arguments, but right now I probably lean a little more toward keep. My logic being, if you can’t build a winning team around Pekka Rinne and Weber–getting players of that quality and more via trade or whatever is highly unlikely. So while both of those superstars are in their primes for the next three or so years, you have to make a major push and if blows up later–so be it.