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The Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators have completed a blockbuster trade of superstar defensemen.
The Habs have dealt P.K . Subban to Nashville for Predators captain Shea Weber. The trade is a player-for-player deal with no salary retained on either side.
The Canadiens now have $9,805,359 of salary cap space according to General Fanager after they took on Weber’s $7,857,142 cap hit.
The Predators have $5,968,335 of salary cap space currently after adding Subban’s $9 million salary cap hit.
Last week, Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin had constantly said he had no desire to trade Subban, even though there have often been questions about whether the flamboyant Subban and coach Michel Therrien got along. Last season, Therrien called out Subban – saying a play he made in a game against the Colorado Avalanche was “selfish.”
There were also queries on whether Subban and his outspoken nature were troublesome for the generally button-downed, tradition oriented Canadiens.
The Canadiens opted to bring back Therrien after a tumultuous 2015-16 that saw the team start the year an NHL record 9-0-0 and miss the playoffs.
“I’ll be Canadien for life. Really happy to be going to a team that wants me in the Predators,” Subban told NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes after the trade via Twitter.
At the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Subban addressed the persistent rumors surrounding him.
“At the end of the day I feel confident as a player and what I accomplish. I feel confident that I’m one of the best defensemen in the league. I don’t need anybody to tell me that, I know that when I step on the ice. I want to do that for the Montreal Canadiens,” he said.
Subban, 27, who won the Norris Trophy in 2013 notched 51 points in 68 games played last season. The Canadiens drafted Subban in the second-round of the 2007 NHL Draft, and he has been adored by the team’s fans for his giving nature and local charity work along with his play.
He’s under contract through the 2021-22 season at $9 million per-year. He also had a no-trade clause that was supposed to kick in July 1, which would have made a deal more difficult if the Canadiens had waited past that date.
“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 released by the team. “Superstar defensemen of his caliber are a rare commodity, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization.”
Weber was drafted by the Predators in 2003, and was named the team’s captain in 2010. But he had often gone through offseason struggles with Nashville in regards to his contract status.
In the summer of 2011, Nashville took Weber to arbitration where they used Keith Yandle’s contract as a comparable, which didn’t seem to sit well with Weber’s camp at the time. The following summer he signed a 14-year $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers that the team matched. He’s under contract through 2025-26.
The 30-year-old Weber is a three-time Norris Trophy finalist and had 51 points and 20 goals last season while averaging 25:23 of ice-time paired with Roman Josi.
Even though his numbers have remained consistent throughout his career, there were questions about his ability to keep up in the faster-paced game of today’s NHL – especially after a Game 7 playoff performance against the San Jose Sharks last playoff where he was a minus-3.
This is the second major trade of a defenseman in the past year for Poile. He dealt Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen. This is arguably the biggest transaction in Nashville history.
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