Somehow P.K. Subban is always the subject of trade rumors. Despite another good season for the Nashville Predators that has him as a finalist for the Norris Trophy, there has still been speculation about whether the team would move on from their superstar defenseman, mostly to ensure enough cap room to lock up Ryan Ellis before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019. GM David Poile spoke with The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (subscription required), and explained how silly any Subban rumors are:
You see tweets from different places, but, that’s not happening.
Nobody has even called me about him. P.K. played terrific this year. He played really well. He’s a really good player. He’s one of the three candidates for the Norris Trophy. I really don’t know where this comes from.
If you’re feeling like you’ve heard this before, that’s because Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin made similar comments before shipping Subban out to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber in the summer of 2016. Even with that history though it doesn’t seem like the 29-year old defenseman is on the way out. Subban is a huge part of the Predators success, logging big minutes and providing a huge offensive boost from the blue line. Even with Ellis needing a new contract and Roman Josi up for an extension after that, there’s little doubt Subban will begin the 2018-19 season in Nashville.
In fact, it seems likely that Subban will play out the rest of his contract with the Predators. Signed for just four more years, the Norris-caliber defenseman will be just 32 when his current mega-deal expires and should still be an effective player. Unless his performance takes a sharp downward turn, or some off-ice incident prompts a move, his $9MM cap hit doesn’t seem impossible for Nashville to hold on to. Poile has done an excellent job locking up his homegrown talent to reasonable contracts, with players like Viktor Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm still set to earn way less than market value for the next several years. The team will have close to $13MM in cap space this summer depending on where the upper limit lands, and plenty of room to extend Ellis and Josi when the time comes.