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Why The Montreal Canadiens Waited Until Now To Trade Shea Weber

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were finally able to move Shea Weber’s contract after receiving confirmation on a key component of his contract.

Weber was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights a few days ago in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov, and one of the major reasons that allowed for that trade to go down is the fact that his contract is now insured. That means that the insurance will cover a major portion of his remaining $6M in salary over the next four seasons, making him simply an end to a means for the Golden Knights. It doesn’t provide them with more Cap Space, but with Vegas already set to be up against the Cap next season, it does offer them the ability to extend their relief pool by $7.8M, while not costing them almost nothing in actual dollars.

When asked to comment on the reasoning behind the trading of Shea Weber‘s contract to the Vegas Golden Knights, Hughes confirmed that he was looking for financial flexibility under the cap for the future. With Weber’s contract carrying a $7.8M cap hit for another four seasons, the contract’s length, coupled with the cap Hit, worried Hughes and prompted him to move. After his trade with the Vegas Golden Knights, Hughes believed both teams were satisfied with the outcome, but that he still had more work to do.

“It was a trade that works for both clubs. It gives Vegas flexibility. For us, it gives flexibility in the future. I’m expecting us to have more of a need for flexibility in the future,” said Hughes on his priorities moving forward.

Insurance Was Problematic For Montreal Canadiens

As it turns out, the coverage of Weber’s contract was a major wrench in a prospective deal with the Arizona Coyotes, which fell through just before NHL trade deadline, as the Coyotes didn’t want to pay for Weber’s full salary. TSN Insider Darren Dreger dropped the news on TSN 690 shortly after the end of the season on what really held up the trading of Shea Weber’s contract.

“It does get a little bit more complicated, as Kent Hughes alluded to in reference to Shea Weber because of insurance attachments,” said Dreger on why Shea Weber wasn’t moved prior to Trade Deadline. “That’s really the reason Weber’s contract didn’t get moved to the Arizona Coyotes. Just because there was more paperwork that needed to be done and more money that needed to be paid out.”

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Dreger went into detail pointing out that both Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens were ready to make a deal, but Arizona grew impatient and decided to go another route to acquire the contract of a player on career-ending Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) in the form of Bryan Little from Winnipeg.

“All parties felt very strongly that they were going to get something done (at Trade Deadline),” said Dreger on a Weber trade falling through prior to March 21. “It’s just insurance-related, and Kent Hughes kind of nibbled at it. They just needed more time and Arizona had other interests out there at the time and clearly moved on it.”

Once the insurance issues were cleared up, moving Shea Weber became a far easier endeavour than at the trade deadline, and a team like Vegas, who is going to be spending to the Cap, saw a need for Weber’s contract. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

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