Six years ago on June 29, 2016, the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators completed a blockbuster trade that saw them swap franchise defenseman Shea Weber and P.K. Subban. Both players have had successful careers in their own right but it appears that their careers are ending. On Tuesday P.K. Subban decided to call it a career and announce his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 33. Weber on the other hand hasn’t formally announced his retirement but it appears to be a foregone conclusion that he won’t play again. The former habs captain hasn’t suited up since the Stanley Cup finals in 2021. With both players’ careers seemingly over we can now analyze who won the Weber for Subban trade.
Analyzing Shea Weber for P.K. Subban
Weber and Subban both have had similar careers individually. Over five seasons with the Canadiens, Weber managed to post 146 points, including 58 goals. Subban posted similar numbers with the Predators as he put up 130 points over three seasons. Subban and Weber played a similar number of games with their new clubs even though Subban played two fewer seasons. Over his tenure with the habs, Weber dealt with a lot of injury trouble as he only managed 275 games with the club. Subban on the other hand played 211 games with the Predators. Neither defenseman managed to capture any individual awards during their time with their new clubs. Subban however was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Award back in 2018. During his time with the Devils, Subban would eventually win the award in 2022.
Neither Weber nor Subban ever managed to reach Hockey’s ultimate goal during their career. Both did manage to reach the finals, however. Most recently Weber led the Canadiens to the finals in 2021 where they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games. Subban and the Predators made their finals run back in 2017 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canadiens made it to the postseason on two other occasions during Weber’s time with the club. In 2016-17 the Canadiens were outed in six games by the Rangers. In 2020 they did manage to win a round after beating the Penguins in the bubble during the play-in round. The Predators made it to the postseason in all three of Subban’s seasons in Nashville. Their best showing outside of their finals appearance came in 2017-18 when they were knocked out in the second round.
When analyzing a trade there are more variables to consider outside of individual and team success. Shea Weber for example brought a lot more to the Canadiens outside of his point totals. Weber was named the Captain of the club in 2018 and held the title until this past summer. The Canadiens moved on from Weber’s contract this offseason after shipping him to the Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov. Weber’s leadership abilities were a vital asset to the club and helped groom youngsters like Nick Suzuki, who was just named the team’s new captain. Weber’s shutdown ability also played a major factor in leading his team to the finals and his defensive prowess can’t be overlooked. Subban on the other hand also brings a lot more to a club outside of his on-ice presence. Prime Subban was one of the most flashy and charismatic players both on and off the ice. This is an asset that helped the Predators drive up sales and media attention during his tenure.
Subban and Weber Trade Returns
The final but also an important aspect to take a look at is what each team got in return for Subban and Weber. The Predators first of all traded Subban in the summer of 2019 to the New Jersey Devils. They managed a return of Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, and two second-round picks. Santini managed only 2 games with the Predators while Davies only suited up for 22. The two draft picks ended up becoming Bobby Brink and Marat Khusnutdinov, although the Brink pick was flipped for a second and third beforehand. As aforementioned, Weber’s contract was traded for Evgenii Dadonov this past off-season. With Weber’s career likely over, Kent Hughes opted to give the Canadiens some cap relief while acquiring a still serviceable winger in Dadonov.
This trade was a solid deal for both clubs. At the time of the Weber Subban exchange, both teams needed a shakeup. Both defensemen helped their teams make a cup run and put up similar offensive numbers during their tenure. However, when declaring a winner the edge goes to the Canadiens. Weber’s leadership and defensive prowess give him a slight edge over Subban. The Canadiens also got a better trade return than the Predators did, as Dadonov is still a valuable player who they can ship off for other assets at the deadline. This trade was nonetheless a solid one for both teams as they both got what they wanted out of the trade and were able to make a cup run. However, the Canadiens ultimately have a slight edge in the Weber for Subban trade.
— theScore (@theScore) January 29, 2017