It’s probably for the best that P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens end their tumultuous relationship, as both parties now have a chance to move on to bigger and better things. But make no mistake about it, Montreal is going to miss Subban a lot more than he will miss them.
Here’s the mistake Montreal made.
Subban is a former Norris Trophy winner, and has had three straight seasons of 50+ points. He’s only 27 years of age, signaling his best years are ahead of him. You’d expect a player of his caliber to be traded for quite a large prize. Instead, Montreal traded him away for Shea Weber.
Acquiring Weber is still a great move for Montreal. Like Subban, Weber has had multiple seasons of 50+ points, but when all you get back for a 27-year-old Subban is a 30-year-old Weber, that’s not right.
It’s pretty easy to see what Montreal did. They wanted Subban off their team so badly they just traded for another top defenceman to take his place. That’s easily one of the stupidest decisions they could have made. Montreal didn’t make themselves better with this move. In fact, losing Subban probably made them worse, as Weber isn’t quite the same talent that Subban is at this point in his career.
A team that got better by trading away a defenceman were the New Jersey Devils. They traded away a young, but rather disappointing, defenceman in Adam Larsson. In return they obtained Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers, a 24-year-old who once recorded 80 points in a season.
Judging by the Hall/Larsson deal, you can clearly see how Montreal may have sold low on Subban. If Edmonton was willing to trade Hall for Larsson, it’s conceivable to think they’d have given up Conor McDavid for Subban! And while that would likely not be the case, it just shows you how desperate some teams can be to acquire an NHL defenceman.
Montreal got fleeced in this deal. Giving up Subban as cheap as they did will prove to be a costly mistake. That’s just a decision they are going to have to live with.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288