Are you ready for the hottest of takes? Here goes: David Poile is the best GM in the NHL when it comes to "hockey trades".
Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones? Both sides will win that. James Neal for Patric Hornqvist? Both sides benefitted (Nick Spaling, sorry sir). Then you have Calle Jarnkrok and a 2nd (Jack Dougherty) for a few months of David Legwand, and Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat and Michael Latta... and you know how those stories ended.
Today is a whole new chapter.
Let's take a moment to talk about Shea Weber. Very rarely is the face of a franchise is as quiet, subtle, and as good of a person as Shea Weber. Yet on the ice, he was as as brutal as a crosscut saw. Shea Weber was a very good hockey player and a better human being. He donated to charities, he spent time in hospitals, and did all of that not seeking attention or approval. And he didn't stop with kids, I've seen him give a full interview after practice to a middle-aged community college student for a project. The City of Montreal may be losing a quality human in Subban, but if they give him a chance, they'll love Shea Weber.
All of that said, the Preds will likely win this deal. The worst part about this trade from a emotional standpoint, other than losing a benevolent and kind person in the community, is that the last game Shea Weber played for Nashville was his worst. In fact, the entire series against San Jose was rough on Shea. And with a team built the way San Jose plays, Weber's weaknesses shown through. He's not the best at keeping the puck, and he defers too often to Roman Josi in order to exit the zone. At times he appeared to be one-dimensional, and as fatigue set in he was caught out of position several times.
He's 30. He's not getting faster. And we aren't even taking into account the contract Weber had.
ENTER: P.K. SUBBAN
Subban is very different than Weber. Subban is much better with the puck, and can create his own offense. The only worry I have, and it's a mild one, is how Subban meshes with Roman Josi. Both carry the puck, both skate incredibly well, and both are very handsome. If you were to top a list together of the top five defensemen in terms of skating, shooting, defense, and handsomeness, these guys are in there with Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Victor Hedman. That's how good Subban is, and that's how good Roman Josi is. Let's not forget this.
P.K. Subban is one of the most beloved athletes in the NHL. And in this upcoming year, he will be in a lineup that has Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, James Neal, Mike Fisher, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Craig Smith, and hopefully a rejuvenated Pekka Rinne. Does that sound fun? It should.
It's no joke that people around the game are claiming this as a victory for Nashville. It is. They opened their cup window up even further, and are now better suited to play possession hockey. They got faster, younger, and likely better today. And what else? How about more marketable? That's what Subban brings to the table. He's an electric personality that's right in line with Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Kevin Fiala, and James Neal. This team is going to be fun to watch, without a doubt.
Is it the biggest trade in franchise history? Perhaps, and that's taking into account that the five major trades have been pretty darn major.
I'll miss Shea. You'll miss Shea. But P.K. has shown to be a better fit for Nashville's new direction. Now the Predators have more than their share of electric personalities on and off the ice, which is befitting of the city itself.
Now, go win stuff.