Shea Weber is the player for whom you pay the bounty the Blue Jackets are demanding but wonít get in exchange for Rick Nash.

Weber is not yet 27 and universally regarded as a franchise player who plays the right defense position, the most difficult in the league to fill ó and for whom any teamís list of untouchables is slashed to the bare minimum.

Any suggestion the Predatorsí Group II free agent would be susceptible to a one-year offer sheet is misguided. Signing a one-year deal of any kind (including his $7.5 million qualifier) would make Weber ineligible for a multi-year extension until Jan. 1, when a new NHL collective bargaining agreement will be in place that may include restrictions on contract length and front-loading that could cost the defenseman millions.

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