While I have no idea what the right decision is for the team, based on every possible consideration, I just have a few impartial thoughts:
If the team (as in owner) simply cannot afford it, it's kind of unfair to make him.
It also raises the question that if a team's owner refuses to pay to keep his team competitive, keep his players happy, and most of all, keep it's best players, does he deserve to still own a team?
It would be one thing if all teams could afford to spend to the floor without losing money, and another thing if the players didn't need extra financial incentive to stay.
On the other hand, is it fair to the city and fans to not keep him? If the team can't afford its best player and its captain as is, how do they plan on making money without him? His loss could have a huge effect on the team's financial well being.
Is it fair to Weber to want to stay after the team loses one of it's other faces?
There are so many perspectives to this situation, and I have no idea what the right decision is.
I don't think 4 first round picks are enough to even start to try and replace the loss of Weber. Weber is a really good player. He's hard to replace, and worth every dollar. Philly had to overpay slightly to make it hard for Nashville to match.
Looking back, the offer sheet that Edmonton signed Penner to, sent the Ducks 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2008. Hardly the same situation, considering the price is much different, and Penner, while a good player for Anaheim and pretty important to their cup win, is and was not in hindsight worth it.
Those picks ultimately turned into:
- Tyler Myers (Edmonton's pick was sent to Anaheim, who traded it to LA, who traded it to Buffalo)
- Justin Schultz (ironic)
- Kiril Petrov (NYI via ANA/EDM)
Edmonton's 1st round pick in '08 was Eberle.