TORONTO (Reuters) - Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber, one of the top defenseman in the National Hockey League (NHL), was awarded a record $7.5 million one-year contract by an arbitrator, the team said on Wednesday.
Runner-up in Norris Trophy voting for the NHL's top defenseman last season, Weber's award tops the previous record of $7 million given to Philadelphia forward John LeClair in 2000 and New Jersey defenceman Scott Niedermayer in 2004.
The Predators and Weber were hoping to avoid arbitration but could not agree on a long-term deal ahead of Tuesday's hearing in Toronto.
Weber, who collected 16 goals and a career-high 32 assists last season, had reportedly been seeking an $8.5 million salary from arbitrators while Nashville countered with $4.75 million.
Armed with one of the NHL's hardest shots, the rugged 25-year-old blueliner has 80 goals and 134 assists in 402 career games, all with the Predators.
He is also a two-time NHL All-Star and helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
(Writing by Steve Keating; Editing by Frank Pingue)