Free agent frenzy can wait, the NHL is getting warmed up with some blockbuster trades.
This is normally one of the most interesting times of the year for the NHL as the free agency period begins on July 1, but the action is already booming. Even before July 4, the fireworks are being heard throughout the league.
On a busy Wednesday, the biggest trade saw the Canadiens deal defenseman P.K. Subban to the Predators for captain and blueliner Shea Weber. Subban was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (43rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft, while Weber has been the face of the Predators after being taken by them in the second round (49th) in 2003.
ESPN NHL reporter Pierre LeBrun confirmed the trade on Twitter:
Confirming the PK Subban blockbuster: traded to Nashville for Shea Weber.
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 29, 2016
Subban, 27, has six years remaining on his contract and will make $9 million in each one of them. Weber, 30, is under contract for another 10 years and his annual cap hit is $7.85 million.
Subban had six goals and a team-high 45 assists this past season for Montreal, but there were rumors last week he may get dealt. The speculation only intensified when Canadiens general manager Mark Bergevin was slow to out-right deny fielding calls on the defenseman.
Weber averaged 25:22 time on ice for Nashville this past season while notching 20 goals and 51 points in the regular season. He then had three goals and seven points in the playoffs.
In another move that sent shockwaves throughout the league, the Oilers dealt former No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall to the Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson in a move that has most pundits believing Edmonton got fleeced.
The Oilers just traded Taylor Hall for a handful of beans. And not even magic beans. Like they reached into a dented can of baked beans. — Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) June 29, 2016
Hall, 24, was selected first overall in the 2010 NHL Draft by Edmonton and led the club in goals (26), assists (39) and points (65) last season. Larsson, 23, was selected No. 4 overall in the 2011 NHL Draft by New Jersey and averaged 22:30 time on ice last season while going 4-9–13 and rating as a plus-7.
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