General manager David Poile is more than willing to make a blockbuster trade. Wednesday’s deal of captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for the high-flying P.K. Subban was the second big-time deal he’s pulled off in six months. Poile shipped young Seth Jones to Columbus in exchange for number-one center Ryan Johansen.
The hockey world is still in shock over seeing the exchanging of superstar defensemen. Reaction to the trade has been very polarizing as there are some Predators fans upset that their beloved captain is gone, but others realize that it was smart to deal their aging captain and get a dynamic blueliner in the prime of his career.
Both deals prove that Poile is willing to roll the dice so the Predators are in the mix for the Stanley Cup in just a short time.
David Poile Makes a Play for P.K.
The rumors swirled around the flamboyant rearguard near the latter part of draft week. One of the more recent hypothetical deals that has come out was the Edmonton Oilers offering German center Leon Draisaitl, the fourth pick in the draft and more. The talk seemingly died down after the draft, but Poile and Montreal counterpart Marc Bergevin pulled off a trade when they swapped game-changing defensemen.
The question is why would Nashville’s general manager trade one Norris Trophy-caliber player for another. Weber and Subban are both excellent players, but have different games. Weber is a traditional lockdown defender that hits hard and has a rocket of a shot. Subban is more along the lines of an offensive-defenseman similar to Roman Josi or Erik Karlsson.
The move for Subban makes Nashville a lot faster, as coach Peter Laviolette loves to play an up-tempo style. Weber is still a good skater, but Subban is one of the faster blueliners in the league. PK is capable of end-to-end rushes like his new teammate Josi.
Ready to Deal
Nashville has quickly remodeled its roster in just over six months. This deal is the second straight-up trade that Poile has made to change the team’s complexion. The Jones for Johansen move gave the team the frontline center it has never had.
The move for Subban gives Nashville proves it is serious about going for a Stanley Cup. Poile has shrewdly put together a roster that has solid draft picks and bargain-basement pickups. However, the trades for Johansen and Subban prove that the front office is ready to be a force in the Western Conference.
The Central Division will be tough to get through, but the Predators now have just a good a shot as anyone else does after their massive move.
The deal looks even for the first couple of years, but Nashville will come away as the winners in the long-term. The Predators are getting Subban’s prime years as opposed to keeping a Weber that is regressing.
Weber will still have some great years with the Habs, but they will be on the hook for that gargantuan contract. (Nashville fans are worried about the cap recapture penalty and it could be a tremendous headache.) Subban may come at a higher cap number, but the Predators will be out of the Subban deal by the 2021-22 season.
Experts are saying Nashville hit a home run with this move, and it could be the deal that puts the Predators deep into the postseason.
Covered hockey since attending SUNY Oswego in Upstate New York in the early 2000s. Has written about college, major junior and professional hockey for the last five years.
Resides in Watertown, NY.