When Predators General Manager David Poile held his season-ending press conference back in April, he stated there could be some changes to his club in the coming months.
On Saturday morning at the NHL Draft in Vancouver, Poile made a move.
The Predators traded defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defensemen Steven Santini, Jeremy Davies, New Jersey's second-round pick (No. 34) in the 2019 NHL Draft and New Jersey's second-round pick in the 2020 Draft.
So, why did Poile and the Predators choose to deal one of their top defensemen? Here's some instant analysis on the transaction.
In a perfect world, the Predators would be able to keep every player on their roster without any implications. However, that's simply not how it works in a league with a salary cap.
Subban is Nashville's highest-paid player with a salary cap hit of $9 million dollars for the next three seasons. Poile has previously stated signing captain Roman Josi to an extension this summer is a top priority for the club, and with the club also interested at improving their offensive capabilities, it became clear a deal would have to be made.
"We appreciate P.K.'s contribution to the Predators and the Nashville community over the past three seasons, which have seen our organization have unprecedented success," Poile said. "He was an integral part of our run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, the 2018 Presidents' Trophy and back-to-back Central Division titles. His work off the ice speaks for itself - he was an impactful member of our community, especially through the groundbreaking Blueline Buddies initiative.
"We had to make a business decision. With an aim at strengthening our forward corps this offseason, and the continued strength of our defensive group, we felt it was necessary to clear up salary cap space this way."
It's an impressive return coming back to the Predators from New Jersey. Santini, 24, has split time between the NHL and AHL over the past three seasons and has shown he can be effective at the NHL level with the Devils. Davies, 22, has skated with Northeastern University over the past three seasons and has earned accolades over the past two campaigns on the blue line thanks to a near point-per-game output at the NCAA level.
Then, there are the two draft picks, both of them second-rounders, over the next two years. For a team like Nashville eager to restock their cupboard with potential, this deal does just that, giving them players who can make an impact now and in the future.
Thank You, P.K.:
There's no denying the impact Subban has had on the Nashville franchise over the past three seasons. Arguably the most personable and outgoing player in the NHL, Subban's on-ice flare pales in comparison to his work in the community.
The Predators want to thank P.K. for his tireless commitment to hockey and the city of Nashville and will always be grateful for his contributions to the club.