Discussion

Key negotiations set to resume

Updated: December 29, 2011, 11:42 AM ET
By Craig Custance

When Shea Weber went through the toughest contract negotiations of his life this summer, the ultimate conclusion was a one-year deal settled in arbitration. It gave both the Predators and Weber some time to cool off and focus on hockey before talking contract. As Weber's agent Jarrett Bousquet put it, they're now just letting things marinate.

Players who sign one-year contracts can't sign an extension before Jan. 1 of the following season. For players like Weber and others who signed one-year deals, that date is closing in fast.

What makes this year unique is that the CBA expires after this season, which means players and teams may not be as eager to sign midseason extensions until they have a good feel for what the structure of the new CBA will be.

"A lot of teams are going to hold their bullets until they know what kind of system they're going to play with," said an NHL source.

Nashville doesn't necessarily have that luxury, with Ryan Suter facing unrestricted free agency on July 1. GM David Poile would ideally like to have a good idea of where his players stand before February's trade deadline.

The Predators have made a couple trips to Calgary, where Weber was able to catch up with Bousquet, who is based out of the city as part of Titan Sports Management. But with Jan. 1 closing in, Bousquet said he'll set up a visit to Nashville to touch base with Weber and the Predators.

"We haven't had any concrete plans. We're kind of waiting for that date [Jan. 1] to come and go," Bousquet said. "Everything is status quo as of right now. I think they're probably looking at some other guys they need to sign first."

Weber isn't the only interesting contract extension option that opens on Jan. 1. The following players all own one-year deals and have potential for more once the New Year hits:

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