We recently had a Q&A session with fellow SB Nation blog On the Forecheck. We answered questions regarding the loss of P.K. Subban, and what he will bring to the Nashville Predators (which you can read here). We got their opinion on how the trade affects last year's Western Conference semi-finalist.
What will be Shea Weber's legacy with the Nashville Predators? Did he make the team better?
I think — and I think the majority of Nashville fans do as well — that Shea Weber is the best player to ever wear a Predators sweater. There are two players that have been the face of the franchise over the last decade: Pekka Rinne and Weber. The Predators have never retired a number, but if there is a list somewhere of former Nashville skaters to get their number retired, Weber is on the top of that list.
Did he make the team better? Absolutely. He's a one-of-a-kind player that can tilt the ice as soon as he steps foot on it (or at least he used to), but I do think he still holds that skill set and ability on the man advantage. He gave the Predators an identity and was the rock on that blue line for 11 seasons.
Was Weber the cornerstone of the Predators franchise? What was the initial reaction to him being traded?
Like I mentioned above, if there are two players that hold that title of cornerstone of the Predators' franchise, Weber and Rinne co-share that title. It honestly differs from fan to fan, some would say it is Rinne while some would definitely answer Weber.
Personally, I was thrilled when I saw the trade break on Twitter. I didn't think it was real, I thought Nick Kypreos had been hacked, but it was exciting to say the least. While there are certainly fans that were mad about the captain being traded, it's much tougher to find someone that was mad or sad about him leaving opposed to those who were excited to have P.K. Subban come to Music City.
The Predators traded for one of maybe a handful of players in the entire NHL that a reporter, fan, and even a casual fan would run after just to talk to him. He's also not bad at hockey either. It's tough not to be excited.
What was your knowledge of Subban prior to the trade? What are your thoughts of him joining the Predators? Do you think his large personality will detract from the on-ice product?
I knew Subban was the best personality in the NHL. I knew his basic and advanced stats were fantastic and I thought he would never play for the Predators, but here we are. I think any fan has a group of players around the league that they would love to see play for their favorite team and I think the majority of fans of any team would love to see Subban play for the team they cheer for.
The first thought that came to my mind when the trade broke was 'wow, the Preds' top pairing just got better' and it was already a top-five pairing in the league with Roman Josi and Weber. I think Josi and Subban will go through some very minor growing pains because they both can carry the puck into the zone and certainly join in on the attack. Josi was that guy to carry the puck and Subban was that same guy for Montreal alongside Andrei Markov. So it will be interesting to see, if they do in fact play alongside one another, who becomes that go to guy. It's a good problem to have, that's for sure.
The Predators needed a guy with a large personality and they just so happened to trade for the most outgoing player in the entire NHL. David Poile wouldn't have pulled the trigger on the trade if he was worried about Subban's personality. It's also worth noting that the media coverage for the Preds is like a high school team compared to the coverage he got from the Canadian media outlets. Don't get me wrong, all eyes will be on Subban, but instead of it being 75 sets of eyes on him during an interview, it'll be 30.
Who won the trade?
The Predators. They got younger, faster, and Subban instantly makes the team better. The Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen trade during last season put them on the cusp of being a legitimate contender. Now with Subban there is no way that they aren't looked at as an extremely legitimate threat to hang a banner and compete for a Stanley Cup. It will come down to Rinne's play and avoiding the injury bug, but the Predators are a scary, scary bunch now.