NHL notebook: Preds add Subban, ship Weber to Habs in swap of all-star defensemen
The Predators pulled off a blockbuster Wednesday before the start of free agency by acquiring P.K. Subban from the Canadiens in exchange for Shea Weber, a swap of All-Star defensemen.
Subban in 2013 won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman and had six goals and 45 assists last season before suffering an injury. The offensive-minded 27-year-old has 63 goals and 215 assists in 434 career games, all with the Canadiens.
He said he was not surprised by the trade because there had been so many rumors since he signed a $72 million, eight-year contract in the summer of 2014. Subban’s no-movement clause that would’ve allowed him to block any trade was set to kick in on Friday.
“Obviously it’s a little bit surreal, but it happened,” Subban said on a conference call.
Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin said trading Subban is “one of the most difficult decisions” he has had to make. Subban was not always the favorite of coach Michel Therrien and others in the organization.
“We completed today an important transaction, which I am convinced will make the Canadiens a better team,” Bergevin said. “P.K. Subban is a special and very talented player. He provided the Canadiens organization with strong performances on the ice and generous commitment in the community.”
Weber, who turns 31 on Aug. 14, had been with Nashville since the start of his NHL career in 2005. He signed a $110 million, 14-year offer sheet with Philadelphia as a restricted free agent in 2012, but Nashville matched it to keep him.
The three-time Norris Trophy finalist was a captain and had 20 goals and 31 assists last season.
Devils trade for Hall
The Devils acquired former No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall from the Oilers for defenseman Adam Larsson.
The trade gives the goal-starved Devils an exciting young left wing, who was the top pick in 2010.
The Oilers get a solid defenseman who was the No. 4 overall selection in 2011. They also get salary cap space to possibly sign free agent Milan Lucic with Hall’s $6 million salary heading to New Jersey.
The Devils, who have missed the playoffs the past four seasons, have not had a top-notch goal scorer since Zach Parise was lost to free agency in 2012 and Ilya Kovalchuk returned to Russia the following season.
The 24-year-old Hall has spent his six-year career with the Oilers. He has 132 goals and 196 assists in 381 games.
Jones back in Columbus
The Blue Jackets took care of one of their biggest offseason priorities by signing defenseman Seth Jones to a $32.4 million, six-year contract. Jones, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Predators, was acquired in a January trade that sent center Ryan Johansen to Nashville.
Around the league
The Blues signed forward Kyle Brodziak to a two-year extension. … The Wild re-signed left wing Jason Zucker to a two-year, $4 million deal.