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Poile and Weber – The Business of Friendship


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Earlier this afternoon, David Poile and Shea Weber jointly held a press conference to discuss the recent arbitration awarding to Weber of $7.5 million dollars for the upcoming season. For the first 4-5 minutes of the conference, Poile did nothing but lather praises and congratulations to the newly re-signed (albeit for 1 year) defenseman, which most likely means that Poile didn’t argue very heavily against Weber/Co.’s arbitration case, seeing that the arbitrator ruled only $1m lower than Weber’s request ($8.5m) compared to $2.75m higher than Poile’s request ($4.75m)

Both sides talked about the lengthy in-depth negotiations, about how they couldn’t get a long term deal nailed out for just about every reason (terms, amount, etc.), and about how Nashville is most likely only one/two pieces away from completing the puzzle in terms of what players they need.

However, the one thing that seemed eerily strange about the entire conference was the niceties emanated by both sides regarding the process and how both appeared to be speaking as if they were good friends and had just came out of a Friday-evening post-work trip to the bar.

As mentioned above, Poile literally spent the first few minutes of the press conference talking about the “best defenseman in the league”. Here are just a couple of the gems during these first few minutes:

“Shea certinaly got recognized as one of the top, if not the best, defenseman in the entire league”

“We have such a young team right now and every year we have Shea here, we have a chance to compete for the cup”

Shea Weber didn’t spend near the same amount of time as Poile did before the questions began from the media members. While Poile talked for nearly 5 minutes at the beginning of the conference, Weber spoke for only around 30 seconds, but made one thing very clear: The Predators aren’t going anywhere and are going to take it to another level this year.

Everything Weber said was exactly what all the fans wanted to hear, he literally said everything right. If he were in a classroom and was taking a test, he would have scored a 100 on it. One of the questions that a lot of Pred Nation was curious about was if the relationship between Weber and the Predators/Poile was still solid after the arbitration? Well, Weber came back with this:

“Yeah, for sure, that was just part of the business. Nobody wants it to come to that. It is what it is, we have something in place right now, and hopefully that can allow us some more time to get something more longer term done. It’s been a long process, a little stressful and draining, but it’s time to get ready for the season. I’m excited, season tickets are up and fan support is through the roof with our playoff run last season. We’re gonna build off that and hopefully have a shot at the Stanley Cup”

This puts a lot of minds at ease, however should we be looking deeper into this, or take it for what it is? You have to wonder if Poile and Weber just had their “Media Faces” on to make everything appear great on the outside or if there was a hidden agenda on either side. It’s not unfair to question that either. Arbitration can and does hurt feelings for players, however Weber seemed strangely calm/content about the whole situation and primarily kept his talking points towards the upcoming season and the tasks currently at hand. He also talked about how he would love to play with Rinne and Suter in Nashville for “a long time to come”.

Regardless of what any of us think, everything appears to be on the up and up in regards to Weber and the Predators. Weber/Rinne/Suter will hopefully all be in the cheesy delicious gold uniforms for many years to come, however for right now, we have at least one season left with the Titanic Trio.

Yet, there is a very good chance that all three may not be back next season. If that is the case, Humphrey Bogart would probably say: “We’ll always have Nashville”

Thanks for reading!

~KM