The Nashville Predators have had a lot of movement on their blueline in 2016. First, in January, they acquired the number one center they coveted for the entire existence of the franchise by dealing Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Ryan Johansen. Then, earlier this week, they pulled off one of the biggest one-for-one blockbuster trades in the history of the National Hockey League when they sent their captain, Shea Weber, to the Montreal Canadiens for PK Subban.
Today, they continued that movement.
ESPN’s Craig Custance is reporting that the Preds have signed free agent defenseman Yannick Weber and Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada is reporting that they’ve also signed blueliner Matt Irwin. Per Adam Vingan, Weber’s is a one-year, $575,000 deal while Irwin’s is a one-year, two-way worth the same (at the NHL level).
Pictured above, Weber was Roman Josi’s defense partner for Switzerland in the Sochi Olympics. He’s the third Swiss-born player on the Predators roster (Josi, Kevin Fiala).
Irwin, 28, played five seasons in the San Jose Sharks organization, splitting time between San Jose and Worcester, before playing just two games for the Boston Bruins last season (and 64 with their AHL-affiliate Providence). Per Friedman, it’s a one-year, two-way deal which suggests Irwin will have a chance to make the NHL roster but may start the season in Milwaukee and be on the speed dial in case an injury occurs.
Weber, 27, has played for the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks during his eight-year NHL career. He appears to fit pretty well on that third pairing with Anthony Bitetto. Bitteto can engage in the play a little more while Weber can be the stay-at-home type.
And yes, Preds fans, Yannick Weber does wear #6 but isn’t expected to wear it with Nashville.
UPDATE (7/1, 5:15pm): The Predators have made the signings official.
PHOTO CREDIT: MRR/Getty Images Europe