Think of Predators defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne as the accidental duo.

They were drafted in different years. They play different positions, come from different countries and have different personality traits. If anything, they were expected to be part of a trio along with former Predators blueliner Ryan Suter.

But when Suter left Nashville via free agency last summer, and the Predators matched Weber's 14-year offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers, it became clear that he and Rinne were joined here for the long-term. Rinne signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Predators last season.

"We definitely talked about that and talked about what a great place it's going to be," Weber said. "We tried to envision some good things in the future, but the time is now."

For the longest period, Nashville's top twosome was Suter and Weber. One simply couldn't escape the other. Both were drafted in 2003, both were Olympians, Suter with the United States and Weber with Canada. They had been defensive partners for almost their entire NHL careers.

Rinne was just an ancillary piece — but an elite one at that. However, it was always Weber, Suter and Rinne.