The deal comes after reports emerged Friday that the Predators were shopping Subban and were willing to eat some of his salary in a deal.
Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie
Not getting caught up in semantics of “shopped” vs. “listening” — been there, done that, circa June, 2016 — but P.K. Subban’s name is out there floating around in the trade-sphere. NSH believed to be looking to clear cap space for either UFA shopping (Duchene?) or Josi extension.
However, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported that the Predators did not absorb any of Subban's contract in the deal, with the Devils set to take on his full $9 million salary and cap hit. That was a key sticking point in negotiations:
It's been quite the weekend for the Devils. On Friday, the team selected American forward Jack Hughes with the top overall pick, a player expected to feature as an offensive dynamo for many years to come. And now they've added one of the most exciting and talented blueliners in the game in Subban.
It's hard to see the move as anything but a major win for New Jersey:
Subban, 30, is a three-time All-Star and was the 2012-13 Norris Trophy winner. In 2018-19, he scored nine goals and added 22 assists in 63 games. He averaged 22 minutes and 40 seconds of ice time, finishing with a plus-minus of plus-5. His 31 points were his fewest since his rookie season in 2009-10.
Subban will instantly upgrade New Jersey's blue line and give the Devils—who finished with the third-worst record in the NHL last season—a much-needed boost in their rebuild. Bringing aboard Hughes and Subban within a day of one another is a huge moment for the Devils.
As for Nashville, it would appear the move is all about having the cap space to sign free-agent center Matt Duchene:
Of course, if the Predators fail to land Duchene this summer—or if he doesn't live up to expectations in Nashville—dumping Subban for middling assets and payroll flexibility will be a tough pill to swallow for Predators fans.