Arbitration scheduled for Shea Weber

Updated: July 18, 2011, 4:58 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

An arbitration hearing for Nashville Predators defenseman and team captain Shea Weber has been scheduled for Aug. 2 in Toronto.

But Weber and the Predators are hoping to agree on a long-term deal before the hearing takes place. Predators general manager David Poile said Monday that the team would continue to work towards a long-term deal for Weber in the coming days. Weber has said publicly he wants to remain in Nashville.

Weber
Weber

If the two sides cannot come to an agreement before the hearing, Weber would have the choice of a one- or two-year contract ruling from the arbitrator. The team would then decide whether to accept the arbitrator's decision or walk away and leave Weber an unrestricted free agent.

But there's been no indication that the Predators would walk away from Weber, who led Nashville to the playoffs last season and is expected to be a crucial piece of the Predators' lineup for years to come. He scored 16 goals and 48 assists last season.

By filing for arbitration a month ago the Predators ensured that no team could file an offer sheet for Weber after July 1.

At the time, Poile said while the team prefers not to use arbitration to bring players under contract, it did so in Weber's case in order to retain such a critical asset. He's one season away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Weber, 25, was a member of the Canadian Olympic team that won gold in Vancouver in 2010 and helped lead the Predators to the second round of the playoffs this past spring. It was the first time Nashville had advanced beyond the first round in franchise history.

He has 80 goals and 134 assists in 402 career games, all with Nashville.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

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