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Canadiens send Subban to Predators for Weber

Montreal, Nashville exchange No. 1 defensemen in blockbuster trade

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Defenseman P.K. Subban was traded to the Nashville Predators by the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Shea Weber on Wednesday.

"I'm excited to get down there," Subban said. "I got along with a lot of the guys during All-Star weekend and some of the guys have already reached out. I want to come in, listen and learn. In turn I want to be a leader and a great player for the franchise."

Subban, 27, had 51 points in 68 games this season. He missed the final month after sustaining a neck injury March 10 against the Buffalo Sabres.

Selected by the Canadiens in the second round (No. 43) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Subban has 278 points in 434 games. He won the Norris Trophy in 2013 and was a finalist for the NHL Foundation Award this season.

"This is a great hockey club that's got a lot of potential and a great future ahead of it," Subban said. "I was traded for their captain so I'd like to think that the expectations are for me to come in and not just be a great player for this franchise but also a leader."

Video: E.J. Hradek breaks down Subban for Weber trade

Subban has six years remaining on an eight-year contract he signed Aug. 2, 2014. He has an NHL salary-cap charge of $9 million through the 2021-22 season, according to General Fanager. Subban also has a no-movement clause that goes into effect Friday.

"P.K. Subban is one of the best defensemen in the National Hockey League... offensively he's an equal to Shea Weber," Predators general manager David Poile said. "This was an incredibly hard deal to make. We did this to improve our team and we did that today."

Trade rumors surrounded Subban since the end of the season but he said it wasn't something he was paying attention to. 

"I think that with a lot of the chatter that kind of happened over the little while, I'm a firm believer that usually where there's smoke, there's fire," Subban said. "At no point did I ever, obviously, want to leave Montreal or even was given a notion from anybody that I would be traded, but we know the way the business works."

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Weber, 30, had 20 goals and 51 points in 78 regular-season games, and three goals and seven points in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was the Predators captain.

"We completed today an important transaction which I am convinced will make the Canadiens a better team," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said. "It was also one of the most difficult decisions I had to make as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. In Shea Weber we get a top-rated NHL defenseman with tremendous leadership and a player who will improve our defensive group as well as our power play for many years to come. Shea Weber led all NHL defensemen last season with 14 power-play goals. He is a complete rearguard with impressive size and a powerful shot. P.K. Subban is a special and very talented player. He provided the Canadiens organization with strong performances on the ice and generous commitment in the community. I wish him the best of luck with the Predators."

A second-round pick (No. 49) in the 2003 draft, Weber is second in Predators history in goals (166) and games played (763), and third with 443 points. He has played in the NHL All-Star Game four times. He finished second in voting for the Norris Trophy in 2011 and 2012, and won the Mark Messier Leadership Award this season. 

"I understand because I go back to the passionate fans and I understand you guys see P.K. everyday and he's been here for a while. He's a likable person. But when you look at Shea Weber I think you'll really get to appreciate [him]," Bergevin said. "When you see him twice a year or don't see him as much you really don't appreciate the type of defenseman he is. He's top notch.

"We didn't give P.K. Subban away. We got a very, very good player in return."

Weber has 10 years remaining on his 14-year, $110 million contract. He signed it with the Philadelphia Flyers as a restricted free agent but the Predators matched the offer sheet July 24, 2012.

Video: P.K. Subban talks about being traded to Nashville

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