Is P.K. Subban on the verge of being moved again?
His name is floating around in that air space again, according to TSN insider Bob McKenzie.
And it’s not that surprising this time around. This isn’t 2016 when the Montreal Canadiens decided to trade Subban for Shea Weber for some reason.
This time, at least, there’s sound reasoning behind any move that would be made -- the salary cap.
The Predators got a gift from the Canadiens three years ago in Subban, who despite getting paid $9 million a season, was one of the best defensemen in the game and years younger than Weber, who moved the other direction.
Subban is still one of the best defensemen in the game. But Subban’s cap hit is proving to be difficult in 2019 and while this feels odd to write, they’d have a pretty good defense core without Subban.
The primary motivator behind moving Subban -- or Kyle Turris, as Pierre LeBrun suggests -- would be cap relief so they could extend Roman Josi long-term.
Josi’s coming into the final year of a ridiculously team-friendly, seven-year, $28 million deal. One of the game’s premier rearguards is going to get a raise and a substantial one from the $4 million annual average value right now. Like double, or more.
One would think dishing off Turris’ contract would be a better play. Turris has five years left on a six-year deal that pays him $6 million per season. But consider that he’s played 120 of a possible 184 games over the past two seasons and has just 65 points in those 120 games.
Few GMs are going to want to take on that salary with that underwhelming production.
So it makes sense that Subban, coveted by every other GM not named Marc Bergevin, would be the guy getting shopped.
The Predators have just $6 million and change to play with this summer, and there’s talk that they want to sign free agent forward Matt Duchene, whose value is likely in the $10 million range given the market right now.
Paying Josi in the same neighborhood and having Subban and Turris on top of that isn’t going to allow any of that to work.
One interesting thing to note, as well, is that Subban has no restrictions on being traded. No no-movement clause. No no-trade clause. Nada.
When Subban signed his deal in Aug 2014, it included a Full NMC that would have kicked in on July 1, 2016. However, because MTL traded Subban prior to it taking effect, #Preds had the option to honor it or not, which they didn't. Meaning Subban now has no control over a trade. https://t.co/UuvnGGnsdx— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 21, 2019
Like McKenzie said, however, there are no guarantees that any big deal is made over the next 48 hours.