The Nashville Predators’ defense is scary, and not just because of Shea Weber’s howling shot.
Actually, the scary combination of talent and depth at that position makes you wonder if Weber may just be expendable.
This post features two different polls that get at the heart of that question, really. Let’s take a quick moment to ponder the strength Nashville boasts in this category.
Shea Weber: There’s been talk that he might be overrated (especially as far as own-zone coverage goes) for years now, and his possession stats are indeed a little lacking. Speculation of him being shopped cropped up during Nashville’s two-season lull.
Even naysayers would be foolish to doubt the velocity of his shot and his general ferocity, and players like Weber are tough to find.
Roman Josi: More than a few people wonder if Josi is superior to Weber.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s far cheaper, as Josi’s $4 million cap hit is almost half the cost of Weber’s $7.857 million whopper.
Beyond that, he’s five years younger and generated 55 points to Weber’s 45. Even if they’re a wash in their own end, Josi stands as the most obvious reason why Weber could conceivably be expendable.
Seth Jones: Of course, Jones may just be the biggest star of three once everything is said and done.
His offensive production is coming along incrementally, yet promising early two-way numbers bode well for a blue chip who will turn 21 in October.
Ryan Ellis: Ellis won’t make anyone forget about Weber if he departs, yet he’s the best supporting cast member on defense beyond Nashville’s other two blueline stars in Josi and Jones.
Barret Jackman, Mattias Ekholh and Victor Bartley round out the group.
OK, so let’s start with the first of two polls: where do you rank this set of defensemen with Weber in tow:
Your opinion of their group in the first poll will likely hint at where you fall on the juicier question: should the Predators trade one of their all-time biggest stars in Weber?