Preds owners have pledged not to lose players over money. Now they're being tested.

On the eve of NHL free agency, the chairman of the Nashville Predators’ ownership group said the team’s business operations had improved to a point where players would not be lost because of money.

Now, with the clock ticking on whether the hockey club will match a $110 million offer to captain Shea Weber from hockey heavyweight the Philadelphia Flyers, the pledge by Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran is being put to the test.

Citing more home sellouts, improved season ticket renewal rates, increased luxury suite sales and expanding corporate support, Cigarran said earlier this summer that the club’s budget for the upcoming season would be larger than ever before, and “we’re not going to lose players because of money.”

“The only way we’ll lose them is if there’s some chemistry issue, or their grandmother lives in Montreal or something, the intangibles,” Cigarran said at the time. “But they know we’re competitive, and they know we’re committed after this season, so we’re in a really good place.”

Some Predators supporters insist that their continued support — and willingness to keep buying tickets — doesn’t hinge on whether the Flyers’ offer sheet ($110 million over 14 years) to Weber gets matched.|text|Sports