The hockey world was stunned when Montreal Canadiens’ General Manager Marc Bergevin pulled the trigger this offseason and traded away fan favorite defenseman P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.
Subban was one day away from his no-trade clause kicking in and all signs pointed towards him playing out the rest of his days as a Hab. That was not the case. In a one-for-one trade, Montreal sent P.K. Subban to Tennessee and got the longtime Nashville Predator captain Shea Weber in return.
In Case You’re Not Familiar
Both of these guys play defense, are right handed, and are Canadian born.
P.K. Subban is a fast-talking, slick-dressing character. Off the ice, he is known for his charitable nature, most notably his $10 million donation to Montreal Children’s Hospital. His on-ice play is characterized by his offensive ability, fast hands, skating, and pretty stick handling. He is a young gun and rising star.
Conversely, Shea Weber is soft spoken. His leadership derives primarily from his lead-by-example style and stoic confidence. His on-ice play is characterized by his defensive prowess, big-body play, and blistering slap shot. He has solidified his spot as one of the best defensemen in the league and is a veteran NHLer.
Where Are They Now?
Well, quite frankly, both players have posted solid numbers for their respective teams.
Though there was a lot of hesitation by Montreal fans, Shea Weber silenced the doubters almost immediately. When the Canadiens started the season 9-0-1, there was not a lot of bad press surrounding Shea Weber. The fans had quieted down, analysts were lauding it as the trade of the year, and the general sentiment in Montreal was that Weber was fitting in just fine. In fact, Weber potted four goals and six assists through those first 10 games.
In addition, Weber is also logging an average of over 26 minutes of ice time per game; highest among Montreal skaters.
“He’s got a huge impact,” Coach Michel Therrien said.
When news broke about the trade, Montreal media would have had you believing that the city was burning to the ground. They acted like the sky was falling and all hell had broken loose. P.K. Subban was truly a hero in Montreal and to see him go was heart-wrenching for the fans.
While nobody in Nashville was ready to say goodbye to their longtime captain, Subban was welcomed with open arms. His fast skating and puck-moving ability would no doubt add great value to the Nashville Predators, who attack the offensive zone with speed and appreciate offensive defensemen.
Unfortunately for Subban, his numbers have not been as good as Shea Webers. To make matters worse, Subban was recently relegated to the injured reserve list and will not be eligible to play when the Nashville Predators host the Montreal Canadiens this Tuesday, January 3. Subban is sidelined with an upper-body injury related to a herniated disk in his back, which may or may not require surgery.
So Who Won?
It’s hard to say who won out in this trade. Subban undoubtedly fits with the style of play that the Nashville Predators prefer to push. He is fast on the ice, smart with his stick, and can move the puck like nobody’s business. He is a compliment to the Nashville blue line to say the least. His numbers are solid and the Nashville Predators are on the rise, starting to put some wins together, and move up in the standings. Nashville’s comparatively slow start to the season leaves a little room for argument though.
While the Predators were struggling to get things going, Shea Weber and the Montreal Canadiens wasted no time in racking up the wins. They rocketed to the top of the standings and have remained there ever since. Through Carey Price’s absence at the beginning of the season, to the team’s injury related issues (Alex Galchenyuk, Andrew Shaw, David Desharnais, and Andrei Markov are all suffering from injuries at the moment), Weber has remained rock solid.
There will most likely be a short video tribute to the all-star, Olympic gold-winning, long-time former captain Shea Weber before the game on Tuesday. The former Predator spent the entirety of his career in Nashville before being dealt this offseason. Weber played a large role in the development of hockey in the region.
Though P.K. Subban will be in attendance, he will not suit up. He is suffering from an upper body injury and will be sidelined until he is evaluated by team doctors in two to three weeks.
The Nashville Predators will host the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday, January 3, at Bridgestone Arena. The puck will drop at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
“From Our Haus to Yours”