News came down earlier today that the Nashville Predators made a huge trade, sending P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils.
And just like that, P.K. Subban is no longer a member of the Predators.
This may be hard to believe, based on how popular and effective P.K. Subban has been in Nashville. But the reasons for the trade, and the situation it leaves Nashville in for free agency makes all the sense in the world.
Freeing up space
The details of the trade are still coming out, but it appears to be P.K. Subban headed to New Jersey in exchange for Steven Santini, prospect Jeremy Davies, and two 2nd round picks (2019, 2020).
If you are hoping to be blown away by the talent that Nashville acquired here, don’t be. This was 100% a salary dump.
The Predators will be reportedly retaining none of Subban’s $9 million contract. They also take on only about $2.3 million in salary from the two roster players, according to Cap Friendly
This means the Predators just gained around $6.7 million in cap to go after whoever they want in free agency.
Another way to put this: the Preds can now go after Matt Duchene.
Given that the Predators just traded away a very popular player, you have to feel confident that they feel like Matt Duchene is very much on the table. If they were to trade Subban and then not get Duchene, I doubt the fan base would be too thrilled. Nor would David Poile.
It’s true that the return on this trade is quite meager. Steven Santini is an expendable defenseman, and probably not someone Preds fans will see much of.
Jeremy Davies was a highly touted prospect and a Hobey Baker finalist at Northeastern University. He’s a player that could eventually pan out as a decent blue liner and not someone to ignore in this trade.
As for the draft picks, the Devils 2019 2nd rounder is 3rd in this year’s draft. The Preds are going to get a player that was a fringe 1st-rounder that ended up falling out of the top round for some reason. This is a good way to start replenishing a shallow prospect pool.
Overall, the return is nothing to get too excited about. But again, this trade was about freeing up money to go get better in free agency, not about the return.
While it’s probably difficult for most fans to say goodbye to a beloved player like P.K. Subban, this move feels like it’s in the best interest of the team. And with any luck, it will get the Nashville Predators closer to a Stanley Cup.
— Featured image via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports —