Nashville captain Shea Weber finally has a new contract.
Weber was reportedly awarded a one-year contract worth $7.5 million by the independent arbiter who presided over his hearing with the Predators on Tuesday in Toronto.
Weber, who earned $4.5 million last season, when he was a finalist for the Norris Trophy, reportedly asked for an $8.5 million reward while the Predators countered at $4.75 million. Weber could again be a restricted free agent after next season as he is not eligible to become an unrestricted free agent under the current rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement until July 1, 2013.
According to capgeek.com, Weber's $7.5 million award puts the Predators over the salary cap floor of $48.3 million. Their payroll now comes in at $48.7 million.
The Predators and Weber were hoping to avoid going to salary arbitration, but they could not agree on a new contract prior to the 9 a.m. ET hearing Tuesday. It was up to Weber to inform the arbiter if he wanted a one- or two-year award and the Predators forfeited their walk-away rights because it was a club-elected arbitration hearing.
Weber, though, was not allowed to sign an offer sheet from another club after he became a restricted free agent on July 1.
Weber had 48 points in 82 games this past season, his first as the Predators' captain. He helped the team advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.