Fantasy Impact: The Montreal Canadiens have traded P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber in a swap of elite defensemen.
The Habs get: an elite right-shooting defenseman who some would say is the best defenseman in the game. At issue here is Weber's age, contract and cap hit.
The Preds get: an elite right-shooting defenseman who some would say is the best defenseman in the game. Though not as many as those who would say that about Weber.
The issues here:
Age – Weber is 30, Subban is 27. Advantage Nashville.
Contract – Weber is signed through 2026, Subban through 2022. Advantage Nashville
Cap Hit – Weber's hit is $7,857,143, Subban's is $9,000,000. Advantage Montreal
Clauses – Subban has a No-Move Clause. Weber does not. Advantage Montreal
Team Canada – Weber is on Team Canada, Subban is not. So the best (?) hockey minds that Canada has to offer would prefer Weber on their team.
Offensive upside – Weber can tally 65 points, he has that ability. His career high is 56. Subban can tally 70 points, he has that ability. His career high is 60.
Division battles – Subban had an easier time of things in terms of scheduling last season because he played the Leafs and the Sabres a lot. Just one 100-point team (Panthers). Weber had three 100-point teams in his division and so his production was harder to come by. Something to think about…
I really like both players and I see this trade being an even one for each of the next five seasons. Then you'll see Subban as the better option for two or three more. After that, I'm sure Weber will have retired for those last two seasons on his contract. If not, he's good enough today that he'll still be a serviceable depth player when he's 39 and 40. Montreal gets a sliver of an upgrade on the player immediately and sliver of cap help. Longer-term the pendulum swings to Nashville. But it's really too close to call overall. The fact is, both teams get a shakeup and both teams will probably respond to it.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Nashville's offense has improved tremendously since Barry Trotz moved on. They have star scorers and everything! So Subban isn't being banished to Fantasy Siberia everybody, take a deep breath. In fact, dishing the puck to Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen is probably an upgrade to dishing the puck to Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk. I'm going to consider both Weber and Subban of equal value before and after this trade. If anything, they may each see an uptick due to the new environment, the 'something to prove' syndrom, etc.
The move being a straight swap of players