By Stu Hackel
Now that Shea Weber’s arbitration award is settled, what will the immediate ripple effect be on the remaining top unsigned NHL defensemen – Drew Doughty of the Kings, Luke Schenn of the Maple Leafs, and the Jets’ Zach Bogosian?
The one-year $7.5 million salary that Weber received is the largest arbitration award in NHL history and it makes him the NHL’s top-earning defenseman, bypassing the Florida Panthers’ Brian Campbell, who pulls down slightly over $7.1 million per season. That in itself is crucial because it will provide a standard for all other defensemen contracts going forward.
More immediately, there had been speculation that the three above-named RFA players, teams and their agents were waiting for Weber’s salary to be determined before moving forward with deals for the other RFA defensemen, figuring that Weber’s payday would provide something of a guide for what a top young blueliner should earn in the salary cap NHL.