In a stunning move, the Devils have acquired defenseman PK Subban from the Predators. The 30-year old star blueliner was said to be made available by Nashville, who wanted to dump his salary to clear cap space to make a splash in free agency this July. Supposedly, they’re after Matt Duchene.
In getting the game’s biggest personality, the Devils didn’t give up a whole lot. Going to the Predators is defenseman Steven Santini, prospect Jeremy Davies, New Jersey’s 2019 second round pick and their 2020 second.
After landing top prospect Jack Hughes last night with the top pick, GM Ray Shero made a splash by acquiring the top pair right defenseman. Subban has three years and $27 million remaining on his contract.
Not long ago, Subban was considered one of the game’s premier defensemen. A Norris winner in ’12-13 for the Canadiens, he spent his first six seasons with Montreal. It was during the summer of 2016 that a fantasy hockey trade was made with the Canadiens sending Subban to the Predators for Shea Weber. At the time, most observers loved it for Nashville due to Subban being younger and not having as long a contract.
Subban helped lead the Preds to its only Stanley Cup appearance in 2017. He posted two goals and 10 assists for a dozen points in 22 postseason games. Nashville lost to the Penguins for the Cup.
In ’17-18, Subban had a big year scoring a career high 16 goals including 11 even strength, while adding 43 assists for 59 points in all 82 games. He finished third for the Norris.
This past season wasn’t as good for him. In an injury riddled season, he dropped significantly to 31 points (9-22-31) in 63 games. In a first round elimination to the Stars, Subban had a goal and two assists while struggling in his end.
The big question is how motivated will he be. A trade like this should rejuvenate him. Especially after all the criticism and rumors.
Now that he’s a Devil, Subban will be asked to be the man on a blueline that needs him. New Jersey missed out on Jacob Trouba, who wound up with the Rangers. This looks like an answer by Shero to rival GM Jeff Gorton.
It’ll make the rivalry more intriguing.