As any NHL executive can attest, you’re always looking for ways to improve your team. Even if that means making the ballsy move. Hence the deal between Nashville and Montreal that materialized Wednesday, drastically changing the makeup of two teams.
The Canadiens and GM Marc Bergevin did what they felt was the right move for the franchise. Same with the Predators and GM David Poile. They’ll talk about how the player they acquired was a superstar who fit the makeup of what they wanted their team to be.
Technically speaking, they’re not wrong. Subban, for all his warts, is one of the best puckmoving defenders in the game. For a Nashville team that has been moving towards team speed in transition and creating sustained offensive pressure, he’s a great fit on the backend. A guaranteed 50+ point, right-shot defenseman in his prime who can create zone entries in multiple ways is basically a unicorn on the trade market.
Weber is the kind of punishing defenseman that Montreal has been looking for, basically since forever ago. He’s big, he’s mean, and he matches the way Michel Therrien wants the team to play, with intensity and defensive fortitude. Add the shot to that and the ability to be a powerplay quarterback and he’s the prototypical old-school defender.
I’m not super fond of Subban, I will readily admit. No one will ever accuse me of being overly flamboyant or the life of a party. But while he and Weber are probably equivalent in terms of present value, there is a clear winner and a clear loser in this trade, and Nashville is not the loser (potential bigtime cap recapture penalty notwithstanding).