Today was a busy day in the NHL, with Steven Stamkos electing to remain in Tampa Bay, the Edmonton Oilers trading Taylor Hall to the Devils for Adam Larsson, and the biggest deal of all, a straight up swap between the Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.
There were rumors of a Subban trade at the draft and even before. Nashville general manager David Poile had this comment regarding the deal:
"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."
Subban's 27; Weber's 30. Weber's cap hit is $7,857,142; currently he gets paid $12,000,000 a year to be one of the best defensemen in the league who mysteriously vanished in Nashville's second round series against the San Jose Sharks. Subban's salary is $11,000,000 this season, with a higher cap hit of $9,000,000, but the Habs are on the tab if Weber retires early, and Weber's on the hook until age 40.
This is almost exactly like the Chris Chelios trade. That trade crippled the Canadiens defence for a long time, and outside of their 1993 Stanley Cup - which had nothing to do with that trade - they enjoyed little success thereafter.
This trade will cause some fans of the Canadiens to give up on the team. It could potentially affect ticket sales. It will make the Canadiens worse this season than they could have been. The sad part is that it won't accomplish the things that it should.
This trade should cost Marc Bergevin and anyone else involved from the Canadiens their jobs. It should awaken team owner Geoff Molson that he doesn't have the right team in place, and that he put his faith in the wrong people. It should cause the type of change that this fanbase deserves. But sadly enough, it probably won't.
Weber's elite, but Subban's younger and probably more elite. Marc Bergevin just introduced the league's best defenseman into the Central Division. Just look at their statistical comparison between the two. This move upgrades Nashville's defense and makes an already tough team even harder to play against.