Predators' Weber gets record $7.5 million in arbitration

TORONTO (Reuters) - Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber, one of the top defenseman in the National Hockey League (NHL), was awarded a record $7.5 million one-year contract by an arbitrator, the team said on Wednesday.

Runner-up in Norris Trophy voting for the NHL's top defenseman last season, Weber's award tops the previous record of $7 million given to Philadelphia forward John LeClair in 2000 and New Jersey defenceman Scott Niedermayer in 2004.

Weber, who collected 16 goals and a career-high 32 assists last season, had reportedly been seeking an $8.5 million salary from arbitrators while Nashville countered with $4.75 million.

Armed with one of the NHL's hardest shots, the rugged 25-year-old blueliner has 80 goals and 134 assists in 402 career games, all with the Predators.

He is also a two-time NHL All-Star and helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

(Writing by Steve Keating; Editing by Frank Pingue)