Earlier this week during an appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 radio Sportsnet reporter and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman raised a few eyebrows around the league when he mentioned Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban as a possible offseason trade chip.
In discussion with host and former Calgary Flames defenseman Rhett Warrener, Friedman conceded that, while likely a long shot, there is a possibility of Subban being dealt. “I think he wears out his welcome with guys,” said Warrener. “I think he gets (under) people’s skin in the room. I think his value is huge around the league because he is that talented. Any chance they would consider making that sort of move?”
“Well, I would say there’s always a chance,” answered Friedman. “First of all, one of their strengths is their blueline, so would you be weakening that significantly. Second, I don’t think he’s going to win the Norris trophy this year, but he’s a finalist.”
This alone was enough to put hockey fans in a frenzy. After all, the last time Subban’s name was circulating in trade rumors he ended up getting traded in a shocking, blockbuster move for Shea Weber. Could history be repeating itself?
For what it’s worth, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette isn’t having any of it. “Where’s he going?” Laviolette asked when confronted with the rumors by Nashville television personality Steve Layman.
“P.K. is here, for me,” Laviolette continued. “Listen, he’s been here for two years, and we’re moving in a pretty good direction here with him as part of our club. He’s been awesome. His regular season, I thought, was really good last year; he might have been the best player on our team in the playoffs last year, just with regard to the way he and Ekholm played and defended. From that playoffs it went right into the regular season this year. He’s up for the Norris Trophy. I thought again that P.K. and Ekholm had an outstanding playoffs. I don’t know if there was growth from year one to year two; he was just awesome in both years for me.”
Laviolette didn’t stop the praise there adding, “He’s coachable. Plays big minutes. Plays against the best players. Produces in the defensive zone and produces in the offensive zone. I mean, you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
That’s certainly some high praise. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out this offseason in Nashville and whether or not Subban is deemed part of the problem or part of the solution. There’s no doubt that they boast an incredibly skilled and determined roster, but after a failed playoff run during the team’s most successful season in franchise history there’s bound to be some changes from general manager David Poile.