The Montreal Canadiens yesterday traded P.K. Subban, formerly of Toronto, to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber to complete one of the NHL’s biggest trades in recent history.
The Predators gain nearly four years – Subban is 27 and Weber will be 31 in August – and Subban’s energetic puck-moving style, which is a better fit to coach Peter Laviolette’s up-tempo offensive style. Subban and Montreal coach Michel Therrien didn’t always get along, and Weber could be a better fit for the defensive scheme that Therrien likes to play.
Both are on long-term deals, but Weber’s contract was front-loaded. Subban is under contract until 2022, while Weber’s deal lasts until 2026. The Predators will have to pay more — $58 million to $48 million – than the Canadiens over the course of the two contracts. Subban will earn $9.5 million next season, while Weber will make $7.8 million.
“P.K. Subban is an elite offensive defenseman with tremendous skill and contagious energy that makes the Nashville Predators a better team now and into the future,” Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. “Superstar defensemen of his caliber are a rare commodity, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization.”
The Predators have one of the top defenses in the league, and now all four top defensemen — Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm — are 27 or younger.
Subban has 63 goals and 278 points in 434 games. He is among the game’s best offensive-minded defensemen. Subban won the Norris Trophy awarded to the top defenseman in 2013.
Weber has 166 goals and 443 points in 763 games, and is known for a blistering shot and bruising style of play. He is a three-time Norris Trophy finalist.
“We completed today an important transaction which I am convinced will make the Canadiens a better team,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “It was also one of the most difficult decisions I had to make as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.”
As respected as Weber is for his total game, including his leadership, Subban could be more popular in Nashville because of his outgoing personality and showmanship.