The Montreal Canadiens have traded defenseman P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Shea Weber.
The trade was part of a crazy 30 minutes in the NHL on Wednesday. First, the news of Taylor Hall going to the Devils broke, then the Subban for Weber trade was next up and finally the news broke that Steven Stamkos will remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There have been rumors swirling around that the Canadiens were looking to trade P.K. Subban for a while now. Those rumors heated up last weekend at the NHL Entry Draft and came to an end on Wednesday. Marc Bergevin traded Subban just in time since his no movement clause was going to kick in on Friday. Subban was a risk-taker and that never seemed to sit well with Bergevin and Head Coach Michel Therrien, who has a more conservative approach.
In 68 games last season, Subban had six goals, 45 assists, 51 points and averaged 26:22 of ice time per game, which was a career high. He has had 50 or more points in each of the last three seasons and the 45 assists tied a career high. In 434 NHL games played, he has 63 goals, 215 assists, 278 points and 35 power play goals. In 55 playoff games Subban has 11 goals, 27 assists, 38 points and averages 25:24 of ice time per game.
P.K. won the Norris Trophy as the League’s best defenseman in 2013. He is reliable and doesn’t miss a lot of time due to injury. There is no doubt that he is a risk-taker and sometimes those risks can hurt his team. He logs a lot of minutes and tends to play against the opponents’ top line. Subban will be joining an already talented blue line for the Predators that includes Roman Josi, Mattias Ekhlom, Ryan Ellis and Barret Jackman.
Subban should be able to excel in Peter Laviolette’s offensive-minded system since he won’t be held back and will be able to play his game. He could potentially play with either Josi or Ekholm. Subban is like having an extra forward on the ice since he can skate with the puck up the ice or join the rush. He’ll help the Predators’ power play even though he doesn’t have Weber’s booming shot from the point. He isn’t afraid to shoot the puck and has the ability to play a shutdown role, when needed.
Subban could benefit from simplifying his game and not doing too much when he has the puck on his stick. The defenseman could also stand to be a little more disciplined on the ice. He could potentially be a Brent Burns type player for Nashville. Subban has six years remaining on his contract with a $9 million cap hit.
In 78 games last season, Weber had 20 goals, 31 assists, 52 points, and averaged 25:23 of ice time per game. In 763 career NHL games, he has 166 goals, 277 assists, 443 points, 24 game-winning goals and averages 24:02 of ice time per game. In 59 career playoff games, Weber has 13 goals, 15 assists, 28 points, and averages 25:06 of ice time per game. He is a 4-time NHL All-Star and has represented Canada in many tournaments and the Olympics.
He has good size and a powerful shot from the point. Weber can log a ton of ice time and can play in any situation. He has played at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded in his career. He is a leader and will drop the gloves as needed. The defenseman can get caught running around in his own zone looking for the big hit, and he can be a little inconsistent playing the shutdown role.
Weber will improve the Canadiens power play, which was ranked 25th out of 30 teams last season. He has a bomb of a point shot and has broken teammates bones because they just happen to get hit with the puck in front of the net with one of his shots. Weber is the complete opposite of Subban in that he is more disciplined, will play within the system, has size that he isn’t afraid to use. He also isn’t afraid to block shots and he is dependable in both the offensive zone and more importantly his own zone.