The Nashville Predators missed the playoffs for a second straight season and will have a new head coach when they hit the ice next season, so could the Predators make a bold move and trade Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber and rebuild the roster?
With the NHL offseason officially in bloom are the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the New York Rangers on Friday to win their second Stanley Cup in three years, trade speculation and free agent rumors are the norm.
However, Predators general manager David Poile has no desire to trade one of the league’s top defenseman who is under contract for 12 more seasons.
“We’re keeping him, we’re building our franchise around him,” Poile told reporters in New York. “I think we’ve got one of the best young defenses in the league.
“I think he’s got an excellent chance of winning the Norris Trophy in 11 or 12 days from now. Why wouldn’t we build our team around him? That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Weber is under contract for 12 more years and carries a $7.857 million cap hit which led to growing speculation that the owner of one of the heaviest shots in the NHL could be moved from the small-market team to bring in a bevy of young and cheap talent to rebuild the roster.
Poile has his sights set on remaking the roster around Weber, who joins Duncan Keith and Zdeno Chara as finalists for the Norris given to the league’s top defensemen, and bringing in more offensive firepower to address the team’s need for offense from its top six forwards.
“When we (upgrade talent), you’ll be saying, ‘Imagine that someone ever thought they would trade Shea Weber,’” Poile said. “No, we are not trading Shea Weber.”