Caveat: It would take a lot to get Shea Weber out of Nashville as the Predators will do everything in their power to keep him.
But that does not mean that the Flyers shouldn’t try their damnedest to get him.
The fact of the matter is that Weber is an elite defensive talent that is the biggest missing piece standing between the Flyers and a Stanley Cup parade.
Few players could realistically fill the void left by Chris Pronger. Weber is one of the select few and is just entering the prime of his career to boot.
What reason do the Flyers have for not cashing in their chips to land Weber?
Should the organization live in fear of losing out on James van Riemsdyk before a potential breakout year or giving up valuable young pieces like Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier?
No. Not at all and there’s one simple reason why: The Flyers organization is most skilled at finding and developing offensive talents. Defense and goaltending, on the other hand, are areas where the organization has a thin historical track record at producing top-flight NHL talents. So, they must poach such players from organization.
It’s far from a new trend. One needs to look no further than the current defensive lineup to realize that. The acquisition of Weber should serve a continuation of that trend.
If the Flyers had to part ways with, say, Schenn and van Riemsdyk as part of a deal that would allow them to acquire Weber and re-sign Matt Carle, the team should do it in a heartbeat.
Yes, Carle. While fans squabble over whether Carle is a good defender, the two opposing camps have similar views.
Camp A: Carle == Ryan Suter.
Camp B: Carle played at his best when paired with a healthy Pronger.
Either perspective would make Carle an ideal defensive partner for Weber. Weber would make him better as, well, he did for Suter. Additionally, retaining a key component to much-needed defensive depth would allow aging or ailing players like Kimmo Timonen to play reduced minutes while maximizing effectiveness.
Adding Weber, regardless of the cost, would immediately have a positive effect on the defense, goaltending, and offense. There are few players out there that become even remotely available at this stage of their career that could make such an impact on all three areas of the game.
To settle for a plan B would be nothing shy of foolish and short-sighted.