The Predators are now free to trade Shea Weber to the Flyers (in a year)

RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 28: Shea Weber of the Nashville Predator answers questions sduring NHL All Star Player Media Availability apart of the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center on January 28 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Remember that time the Flyers tried to give Shea Weber $110 million?

The Nashville Predators may have foiled that plan by matching Paul Holmgren's seriously ballsy offer sheet, but there's still a pretty large contingent of Flyers fans holding out hope that Weber will someday pull on an orange and black jersey. It's not going to happen, but ... well, hope is a weird thing.

We all know he wants to play in Philadelphia (he said so), and while Nashville fans will argue that he clearly is fine with staying in the Music City long term -- he wouldn't have signed the offer sheet otherwise, right? -- there's still the belief that he could end up here. A small glimmer that's probably extremely unrealistic, but it's hope nonetheless.

The rules state that Weber can't be traded for an entire calendar year. But what about after that year? The Predators were reportedly trying to work a no-trade clause into the deal with Weber, but there were doubts on whether or not that was even allowed by the CBA. Now, according to Josh Cooper of the Tennessean, Weber's contract is officially filed with the league office. It does not feature a no-trade or a no-movement clause.

Options are now available for the Preds. What if they realize that, as a small-market team, they don't have the money to pay Weber's ridiculous salary? He's going to earn $27 million between the signing of the deal last month and July 1, 2013, and the Preds are a franchise that's only worth $163 million. It's plausible to still believe they can't afford it, right?

The answer to that question is no, and this is absolutely no reason to get excited (the thief he kindly spoke). Thoughts of a Weber trade to the Flyers are completely unrealistic. But hey, if a situation pops up in the next few years where the Preds want to trade Weber for one reason or another, they now have the ability to so freely. I'm sure the Flyers would be there with an offer.

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