Flyers Notes: Weber won't talk about almost joining the Flyers

The Flyers' Steve Downie watches the Predators' Shea Weber work the puck. The Flyers went after Weber in 2012, but Nashville matched the offer.
The Flyers' Steve Downie watches the Predators' Shea Weber work the puck. The Flyers went after Weber in 2012, but Nashville matched the offer. (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: January 18, 2014

Shea Weber, Nashville's franchise defenseman, politely declined to talk about almost being a Flyer after the Predators' morning skate Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.

On Thursday night, Weber faced the Flyers for the first time since they signed him to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet in the summer of 2012.

He had three points as the Predators won, 4-3, in a shootout.

Nashville matched the offer for the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Weber, who was a restricted free agent, and he remained with the Predators.

The Flyers had hoped Weber would replace Chris Pronger as the man their lineup.

Before the Predators matched the offer, there was hope among the Flyers that they would land one of the NHL's premier players.

"It was pretty exciting to have him [here]; I knew he was in town and was being shown the area and all that kind of stuff," winger Scott Hartnell said. "I think he really thought this was a great sports stop for him. If he didn't, I don't think he would have signed. I'm sure there were a few others trying to schmooze him and lure him to their team."

Added Hartnell: "I think for the first few days [after he signed the offer sheet] he was pretty confident that he'd be here, but obviously they ended up matching it, so it was probably more of a mind-set adjustment for him to go back to the team.

"But I think it's water under the bridge for them now. He's playing great hockey, but you can't really look back at that too much."

Weber, 28, entered the night leading NHL defensemen with 11 goals but was minus-15. He refused to talk about almost joining the Flyers.

"Obviously I'm a Nashville Predator and I love it here and love the organization," he said.

Weber was recovering from an eye injury and didn't face the Flyers when they scored a 3-2 shootout win Nov. 30 in Nashville.

"He's a big body and he doesn't just hit to get the puck; he hits to hurt. He's so strong," Hartnell said. "He's got one of the heaviest shots in the league . . . They're a totally different team with him."

The Flyers would have been, too.

Breakaways

After being a healthy scratch for two games, winger Steve Downie returned to the lineup. . . . Hartnell wore a foot protector after blocking a shot and injuring his ankle Tuesday in Buffalo.

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