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Predators say intention is to match Flyers' huge 14-year offer for Weber

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PHILADELPHIA -- Shea Weber is on the brink of becoming the dominant blueline force the Philadelphia Flyers desperately need.

Weber signed a staggering offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers and the restricted free agent could be a week away from bolting the Nashville Predators. A person with knowledge of the decision says the Flyers signed Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth $110 million.

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The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn't announced terms of the offer.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed early Thursday the Flyers did sign Weber to an offer sheet. He gave no further details. The Predators issued a statement late Thursday morning confirming they had received the Flyers' offer sheet, which gives the team seven days to make a decision on matching the deal or letting the defenceman go.

"We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea," Predators general manager David Poile said. "Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it, and all of its ramifications, in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term."

Weber, 26, is the Predators' captain and played on a $7.5 million arbitrator's award last season. He had 19 goals and 49 points along the way.

Nashville already lost free-agent defenceman Ryan Suter to Minnesota this summer, and losing Weber would be an unexpected blow to a defence-first team that had 104 points last season.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2012 C2

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