C'mon, we both knew the references to "14 Years" wouldn't stop after the tweets last night.
The big news, in fact the only news, to break in the past couple weeks is the final game of chicken between Philadelphia and Nashville over Shea Weber, with Weber signing a 14-year, national GDP of several countries offer sheet with the Flyers and the Preds having a week to match. So unless the CBA gets weird, or eventually Weber becomes trade bait down the road even though this thing would have to have a NTC (those can always be gotten around though, ask Brian Campbell), Weber is going to either be in yellow or orange for a long, long while.
How does this affect the Hawks? Well, the first thing that's probably happening is that Jay Feaster's phone is ringing off the hook with teams now pursuing Jay Bouwmeester. Shame that Feaster doesn't know you have to pick it up to make it work, or how to turn the microwave on (other than to stick his head in it, apparently), and the dimmer switches they've just installed in the Flames offices causes hours and hours of staring. On the other end of that unanswered phone is almost certainly Ken Holland. The Wings need d-men, the one they really wanted is now gone forever, and they just might throw the house at Feaster to get Bouwmeester. But this is still Jay Feaster, and he'll fuck it up.
Stan should be on the phone too, but there's no way he can outbid Holland because the Wings will need him more. Here, J-Bow would slot in comfortably on the 2nd pair which is what he is. In Detroit he's probably a 1st pair guy, unless you can convince me Kronwall and Quincey is a top pairing with a straight face, and you can't. This may be the rare time when Holland overpays for a guy who already has a bad contract.
Who else might be available? Well, this would depend on how many former Jets d-men you want, but both Toby Enstrom and Zach Bogosian go into free agency next year, and with Winnipeg's questionable budget they may not want to pay both.
The Bruins have some cap issues coming up with Lucic, Seguin, and Marchand having contracts run out after this season. Andrew Ference might be someone you call about, especially with Dougie Hamilton roaring toward Boston in the near future. Ference would certainly up the snarl quotient on the blue line. Seidenberg would be more of a reach but clears more payroll, worth an ask.
Of course, the absolute wet dream where you have hours long sex on a beach with Jessica Biel is that if the Flyers do capture Weber and are capped out, Scott Hartnell becomes available. Sorry for sex on the beach and Scott Hartnell being so close together there in that sentence. That's not nice. But Hartnell is getting older, has a big paycheck and is probably going to have to be allowed to walk next summer when Wayne Simmonds gets his money. Hartnell solves everything among the forwards, and I mean everything. Because of their money problems, or possibly money problems, the Flyers are only going to want picks, kids, and cheap labor back. The Hawks have those.
A word on Weber and the Preds here. I know a lot of you are celebrating what you think will be the demise of Nashville. It won't be. They'll plug Ellis and Josi in, they're blossom, or they'll pick up some veteran you never thought of who'll be 10 times better than he should be, or something else. Until they are not, I will always believe that Trotz and Poile will always have the Preds as a firm pain in the ass, because that's just what they do.
I also want to say I feel terrible for the fans in Nashville. Yeah, division rival and all that, but most of you have been down there. You know what they've created there, and they did it the right way. They built through their organization, rolled out promising kids who grew, developed three genuine stars as they promoted their team in their community and turned it into maybe the most unique place in the country to see a game that we all love, and now they're essentially fucked. And they were totally willing to go to the cap to keep Suter and Weber. Essentially, the Preds are being punished for being too good at developing two players of their own. How does that work?