The Shuswap’s been a-buzz with the news that Nashville Predators defenceman and Sicamous product Shea Weber signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers for a total contract amount of $110 million.
Yup, $110 MILLION.
Mind you, that is for a 14-year deal, which includes $68 million in bonus money in the first six years.
In total, Weber will make $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six; $6 million in each of the next four seasons; $3 million in year 11; and $1 million in each of the remaining years.
Nashville has until 8:30 p.m. today – to match the deal for the market’s marquee defenceman and restricted free agent, otherwise he’ll be donning a Flyers jersey.
Weber is a valuable commodity. He’s a two-time NHL first team all-star. He has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy, for the league’s best defenceman, multiple times. He is a physical presence who also contributed 43 points or more from the blue line in each of the last four seasons. And who can forget his mind-blowing slapshot in the 2010 Olympics that ripped right through the goal net? Beyond that, he’s a darn nice guy off the ice.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Weber earlier on in his career and he never failed to be polite and without sign of the arrogance or egotism that can so easily become part of your psyche when you’ve got star talent. He always credited his family and his local Shuswap hockey coaches for putting him on the road to success.
At a recent golf tournament that raised more than $100,000 to go towards cancer research, and also to the fundraising for Sicamous flood victims, Weber committed $50,000 of his own cash to the cause. (We now certainly know he’s good for it.)
I don’t begrudge Weber his success. He has worked hard to get where he is and who among us wouldn’t want to reap the fruit of their labours? But for most of us regular joes, that kind of coin is almost unfathomable. It also makes me wonder about our society and where we place our worth. According to my calculations, if Weber worked a 40-hour week for the next 14 years, he’d be making $3,777 an hour. A so-called living wage in B.C. is pegged at about $17.50 an hour. Minimum wage is $10.25 an hour.
One of the best things I read about the deal came from the Vancouver Sun’s Brad Ziemer, who wondered if Weber could actually buy his hometown for that kind of money.
Turns out no.
I got quite a chuckle to read how the reporter had contacted Ruth Walper, the director of financial services to find out that Sicamous’ net worth was pegged at $789 million.
But a business baron he could be, as the community’s business sector is worth an estimated $55 million.
“And he could definitely get a very nice waterfront condo,” Walper said with a laugh.