BLOCKBUSTER: Shea Weber for PK Subban

 

The Nashville Predators have traded defenceman Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenceman PK Subban; no salary has been retained in this deal. Source: https://twitter.com/predsnhl/status/748248965733359617
Subban makes $9 million dollars per year over the next 6 seasons, making him the highest paid defenceman in the NHL. On the other hand, Weber is making $7.8 million dollars per year for the next 10 years. They’re both right-handed defensman who are thought to be “elite” by many, but in my opinion this is one of the worst trades in recent memory for the Canadiens.


First off, what does Weber bring to the table that Subban doesn’t? Subban is the better offensive defenceman in terms of point production, and relative shot generation. The only thing Weber is better in is goal scoring… The thing is that Weber most often plays with Roman Josi; and Subban spent most of his time with Andrei Markov. So, Subban produces better with a worse offensive defensman than Weber. In individual shot attempts/60 in the past 3 years, Weber ranks 34th in the NHL; and Subban ranks 83rd. In points per 60 minutes in the same timeframe, Subban ranks 9th; and Weber ranks 27th. So, Weber shoots more, and scores more than Subban, but doesn’t have a significant offensive advantage, if at all.


Now, let’s look at their defensive abilities. In relative shot suppression, Subban is top 4 calibre (by percentile of defenseman); whereas Weber is one of the worst in the league at shot suppression. In the past 3 years for zone start adjusted fenwick against per 60 minutes, Weber ranks 110th out of 124 defensman; whereas Subban ranks 55th out of the same amount of defensman. So, if your argument is that Weber is better defensively, I really don’t buy it.
This is basically how the trade breaks down in my opinion.
Nashville acquires:
– Norris calibre defenseman
– 4 fewer years of contract length
– the better player
Montreal acquires:
– Leadership award calibre player
– NHL’s “hardest shot” winner
– ~$1.2M cap relief for 6 years
– Player who made WCOH roster
So, there is a pretty clear winner here in my opinion, and it’s Nashville. Their top 4 will consist of 4 legitimate top 2 defenseman in Josi, Ekholm, Ellis, and now Subban. This is by far the best defensive core in the NHL right now. We’ll see Nashville in the playoffs next year, potentially competing for the Stanley Cup. Montreal, who I thought would make the playoffs next year, might not anymore. Weber is a significant downgrade from Subban in my opinion, and unless “Carry” Price puts that team on his back, they might not make it, being surpassed by teams such as Toronto, Florida, etc. We will just have to wait and see.

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