Should the Nashville Predators investigate the option of trading away Shea Weber? That was the question that Adam Proteau posed recently in a op-ed column for the Hockey News. While his ideas were just speculation, imaging the Edmonton Oilers or Philadelphia Flyers whipping up a package worthy of Weber is an interesting practice.
From Edmonton’s standpoint, they could see Weber as they player they’ve been missing. If they thought so highly of Andrew Ference in the offseason, they’d soil their collective britches over Weber. He’d instantaneously become the best player on the team and elevate the squad from struggling afterthoughts to legit playoff contenders over night.
Would the required return be massive? You bet.
Proteau mentioned that the Predators would be wise to go after Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and then some in return for their superstar defender. Fair enough, considering that Nashville has had trouble scoring goals recently. A guy like Hall could certainly come in and line up along side Matt Cullen and maybe do some damage.
We already know that the Flyers were willing to sell the farm (literally, depleting their farm system of first round picks for four seasons) for Weber. The cost of their offer sheet to Weber would have been four first-round selections had it gone through, and they clearly didn’t mind that price. What would Philly be willing to part with now, with their season in shambles and in need of a savior of some kind?
Certainly starting with a promising young player like Brayden Schenn would be the way to go.
Trading for Weber makes sense for both the Oilers and the Flyers…and every other team in the NHL, frankly. The one team that the trade doesn’t make sense for is the Nashville Predators. The argument goes that they’re spending a lot of money on the guy, and Seth Jones will be able to take his place(?) over the next few seasons.
Yet this is the same team the aches for the old days of having both Ryan Suter and Weber out on the ice together at the same time. Why would they trade the other half of the equation now that they have that kind of high-end pairing again? Within a year or two, this will probably be the best top pairing in professional hockey.
That’s worth more than a rose bouquet of a player like Nugent-Hopkins. That’s priceless.
Nashville is never going to be set up for score four goals a game, because that’s not what wins Stanley Cups right now. Scoring two goals a game isn’t going to win a championship either, but the Preds have other, less extreme measures that they could pursue. One needs to only look back a single year to the Filip Forsberg deal for evidence of that.