VANCOUVER — Ray Shero and David Poile started communicating about P.K. Subban earlier this week and heading into Saturday morning the New Jersey Devils general manager was unsure where things stood.
The Nashville Predators GM has been busy trying to free up cap space to pursue an impact forward while also leaving room to extend defenseman Roman Josi. The Devils’ second round pick (No. 34) was always involved in the discussions, so Shero needed to know one way or the other before Round 2 began.
Poile rang Shero Saturday morning before the teams arrived at Rogers Arena for the second day of the 2019 NHL Draft and asked if he still wanted to go through with the deal. Not long after it was official and Subban became a New Jersey Devil.
“I’ve always been a fan of P.K. Subban from his Belleville days,” said Shero. “Just watching him in the playoffs [with] Pittsburgh and Montreal, he’s a competitor. His legacy, in terms of off ice stuff is well known. But on the ice he’s a competitor and wants to win. I love the fact he’s not won a Cup yet, he’s hungry for that.”
Subban’s contract carries a $9M cap hit and ends after the 2021-22 season. Not too many teams would have been willing to take that on, especially not knowing the 2019-20 salary upper and lower limits. Poile said he was in discussions with four teams, some of which involved salary retention. Ultimately, the Devils had the cap space and Shero used it to his advantage by being able to take on the entire salary.
Taylor Hall’s future
The update on extension talks with Hall is that there is no update. Shero said he told Hall’s agent that he wanted to get through the draft and free agency before they sit down and talk about the forward’s future.
Neither side is in a rush with Hall under contract through the 2019-20 season. The decision is a big one for both sides and it will require a significant financial commitment from the Devils.
“There’s no promises. But we’re on the same page because I really think it’s important for both us and Taylor,” said Shero. “It’s a huge decision on his part and for the franchise as well. It’s important to me to be able to sit down with Taylor and go over with where we are as a franchise.”
The relationship between Shero and Hall is in a good place. They’re open with one another and the franchise is going to do everything it can to retain him. Shero did speak with Hall before making the Subban trade and the forward was very supportive of the move. Adding Hughes and Subban to the roster will go a long way to helping the Devils bounce back after a playoff-less 2018-19 season.
Of course, Shero likely isn’t done for the off-season. Next up is free agency on July 1, another opportunity to add to a winning weekend.
“We want to improve the franchise,” Shero said. “Of course we want Taylor to stay. He’s under contract for another year. … I think we’re making steps in the right direction. We got really lucky to win the lottery twice now, so we want to take advantage of it. It’s great for New Jersey and our franchise.”
MORE 2019 NHL DRAFT COVERAGE:
• Devils take Jack Hughes with No. 1 overall pick
• Devils-Rangers rivalry gets boost thanks to Hughes, Kakko
• Round 1 draft tracker
• Rounds 2-7 draft tracker