Nashville Predators to pay $110 million over 14 years to defenseman Shea Weber | NHL
The NHL Nashville Predators matched Philadelphia's $110 million, 14-year offer to defenseman Shea Weber, 26.
Predators match $110 million,
14-year offer by Flyers to Weber
Shea Weber can thank the Philadelphia Flyers for one of the NHL's richest and longest contracts.
But the Nashville Predators will pick up the tab.
The small-market Predators made the bold move Tuesday to match the staggering offer sheet from a deep-pocketed Flyers organization, keeping the defenseman in Nashville.
Nashville decided to pay Weber the $110 million over 14 years offered by the Flyers. Weber, 26, is the Predators' captain and played on a $7.5 million arbitrator's award last season. He had 19 goals and 49 points along the way.
Weber, whose 99 goals are the most by any NHL defenseman over the last seven seasons, cannot be traded for one year. The three-time All-Star's contract ranks second in league history to the 13-year, $124 million deal Washington forward Alex Ovechkin got in 2008.
"We were trying to add a top defenseman entering the prime of his career," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "With Nashville matching our offer, we wish Shea and the Predators all the best."
Nashville lost free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter, 27, to Minnesota this summer.
NASCAR gives Allmendinger
an indefinite suspension
NASCAR has suspended A.J. Allmendinger indefinitely after a test of his backup urine sample came back positive.
Allmendinger, driver of the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge in the top-level Sprint Cup Series, originally was suspended July 7 after failing a random drug test taken in late June. His backup "B" urine sample was tested by Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville, Tenn.
Officials did not announce the substance for which Allmendinger tested positive.
Allmendinger, 30, has said he tested positive for a stimulant he has not revealed, but denied knowingly taking a banned substance.
A statement from team officials said: "Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the 'B' sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to A.J. over the coming week."
Tara Ragan, Allmendinger's business manager, said in a statement: "This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within A.J.'s home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards."
Penske Racing officials said Sam Hornish Jr., who has filled in for Allmendinger in the past two Sprint Cup races, will drive the No. 22 car in Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in the Aug. 5 Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Center Asik to play for Houston
Houston officials announced Turkish center Omer Asik is headed to the Rockets after the Chicago Bulls decided not to match their three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet.
The 7-foot Asik averaged 3.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and one block in 66 games last season. He helped Turkey earn the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA world championship.
"A defensive presence in the middle, a 7-footer that we haven't had for some time," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said.
The Rockets have needed a solid big man since Yao Ming retired last summer, his career derailed by foot injuries.
Of the 26-year-old Asik, Morey said, "We think he's a 10-plus-a-night rebound guy, one of the best defensive bigs in the league."
Grizzlies, Wolves make a trade
The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired forward Dante Cunningham from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Wayne Ellington.
Both players have three seasons of NBA experience. Cunningham, 25, has averaged 5.2 points and Ellington, 24, has averaged 6.5 points.
• English Premier League team Everton has agreed to sell Australian midfielder Tim Cahill, 32, to the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
• In exhibition matches between MLS teams and English Premier League visitors, Aston Villa outscored the Portland Timbers 5-4 in penalty kicks after the score was tied at 2 at the end of regulation, and Tottenham Hotspur and the Los Angeles Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw.
In Portland, both teams scored on their first four penalty kicks before Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan stopped Bright Dike's kick. Aston Villa's Samir Carruthers stepped up and scored the winner, beating Joe Bendik.
Sebastian Rincon (76th minute) and Rodney Wallace (81st minute) scored for Portland in regulation.
The crowd of 20,438 at Jeld-Wen Field included a celebrity Aston Villa fan, actor Tom Hanks.
In Carson, Calif., Tottenham's Gareth Bale scored on a header in the 17th minute, and David Junior Lopes of the Galaxy got the equalizer 11 minutes later.
The Galaxy was without standouts David Beckham and Landon Donovan, who are scheduled to play in Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea of London in Chester, Pa.
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