For the second year in a row, I decided to try and help out the Bell Let’s Talk day on Twitter by enticing people to make me write something I hate. Last year, I argued why the Leafs should trade for Kris Russell.
This year, Katya decided to drive me further into alcoholism and this was the challenge she set me.
We have another challenge for #BellLetsTalk this year. If this gets 110 RTs we'll write why the Leafs should trade Nylander for Shea Weber as suggested by @HabsEOTP. 1967 RTs and we'll write it like we mean it.— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) January 31, 2018
Thankfully, even by tagging Habs Eye On The Prize, it did NOT get to 1967 retweets so I don’t have to write this like I mean it. Writing it for the lulz it is! Here are all the reasons why the Leafs should trade Nylander for Shea Weber:
Reason 1: Weber’s Dogged Determination
Look, I am an unabashed animal lover. If it came out that Brad Marchand risked his life to save a Boston terrier he would become my favourite player of all time. William Nylander is a great young hockey player and the sky is the limit with him, but I can’t take a lack of commitment from him. I mean, sure, he’ll tag along with Kapanen to do a photo op with a dog...
But where’s YOUR dog, Willy? Or a cat? Hell I’ll even take a chinchilla! It’s that lack of commitment that makes me seriously question Willy’s character.
12/10, would trade for good boyez.
Reason 2: Weber Doesn’t Wear Trash Bags
William, please... I just can’t with your fashion choices anymore. I was willing to excuse the Viktor Loov bachelor party uniform as it not being your choice, but when you walk around with this jacket...
...it makes me question your decision making. How can I trust that you won’t try and pass it to Leo on a 2 on 1 when you have a clear shot if you wear THAT??
Weber is not exactly a fashionista himself, but that’s more because he’s just a dude. He wears hockey stuff at hockey games, he wears suits for formal occasions, and any other time he seems to be in a t-shirt or something else... normal.
So while Weber has the albatross contract, Nylander is basically like that guy from Rime of the Ancient Mariner except he CHOOSES to wear the dead albatross.
Reason 3: Dat Clapper Tho
Look, we all love Nylander’s snipes. A good, hard, well-placed wrist shot gets us all giddy. But I will unironically admit to loving a 108+ mph slapshot the way people in the Simpsons love dingers.
I mean come on, his slap shots are as fast in mph as he gets paid in millions of dollars from this contract. That’s HUGE!
Reason 4: Travis Yost Is On Board
There are certain laws of the universe that govern all existence and how everything operates. One is that TSN must write about Nylander being traded every other week, the other is that Travis Yost is so wrong about food that to make up for it he is more right about anything else. So when Travis Yost writes for TSN saying that a Nylander for Weber deal makes sense, you gotta take it seriously.
Ribs taste awful (all flavors) and you have to use your hands. Truly peasant food.— Travis Yost (@travisyost) September 9, 2016
When you see a guy have more bad food takes than Weber has years left on that contract, you gotta figure he’s right about other stuff.
Reason 5: Weber’s Great Charity Work
The Weber-Subban trade is partially so infamous because of Subban’s incredible $10 million donation to Montreal’s hospital, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that Weber does a good amount of charitable work too.
While with Nashville, he and Rinne set records for their donations to a Children’s hospital. He also created and actively participated in the Best Buddies program in Nashville and back home in BC, through which Weber befriended with a 49 year old man with Down Syndrome.
Part of the reason why you might not have ever heard of it is because he does not really advertise it. He just goes about his business, much like how Auston Matthews had been visiting Sick Kids for a long while before that story came out. It is a truly nice way to give back his time and some of the money from the $110 million contract he signed. It is a legitimately good thing for him to do.
Reason 6: He Loves Fantasy Baseball
This kind of goes back to the whole fashion thing, where Weber is just such a dude, is that Weber is reportedly a huge fantasy baseball nerd. I trust a guy that obsesses over ADP and combs through the free agent list looking for value pick ups off waivers according to the top players over the past 30 days by STD DEV rankings.
And it makes perfect sense for him to like baseball so much, given that he’s the only hockey player to have been given a contract that an MLB player wouldn’t turn his nose up at.
Reason 7: Count On Lou
Look, I’ve joked about his ridiculous contract a lot but the fact of the matter is that the Leafs employ Loophole Lou, a guy famous for working around the CBA. In fact, he’s the only other guy to TRY giving out another Weber-like contract before the NHL poo-pooed it.
So here’s the thing about his contract. Did you know that after this year, it’s not so untradeable? After this season, he does not have ludicrous signing bonuses that pays him as many millions of dollars as Connor McDavid makes in total per season. In fact, the salary goes down from $12 million this year to just $6 million next year. And in a few years, it goes down to $3 million. By the time his actual salary paid is less than half of his cap hit, he’ll probably be old and busted enough to get the perennial LTIR treatment.
So, really, the Leafs only need to hang onto him long enough to win some Cups and then dump him on the Coyotes or hide him on Robidas Island.
Reason 8: What Else Ya Got, Bergy?
What, you think the Leafs are just gonna trade Nylander for Weber straight up? Nah, no one said we had to play by that rule. This is Marc Bergevin we’re talking about. This is MONTREAL we’re talking about. And that means we get to talk about Max Pacioretty, Ryan Poehling, Victor Mete, and a whole hell of a lot of retained salary.
Now I’m not necessarily saying the Leafs could or should get ALL of those together, but if the Leafs are taking on a player with a contract bigger than some countries’ GDPs then by Phil we are getting more back.
Pacioretty has been rumoured to be on the block for a few years now, but has picked up in earnest this year. His contract ends after next season, and is very team-friendly. He’d be relatively easy to fit under the cap for this season, and the Leafs would have a replacement for JVR as a scoring winger if he leaves in free agency.
If Pacioretty AND Weber are too much cap for the Leafs to take back, don’t worry. We can give them back Zaitsev, Martin, and ol’ frenchie Frederik Gauther to make up some of the difference. Or, we take Ryan Poehling and Victor Mete off their hands to replace Nylander’s value without taking back as much cap hit.
Or, as a wise old doctor once said: Why not both? This is Marc Bergevin we’re talking about!
Reason 9: Whither, Polak?
Saving the best for last, let’s think about. I mean let’s really think about it. Shea Weber is a defenseman. More specifically, he is a RIGHT-HANDED defenseman. Even MORE specifically, he is a right handed defenseman that Mike Babcock loves who is a much better player than Roman Polak. Considering how long we’ve been bitching about Polak getting any ice time at all, I ask you, is losing Nylander not worth seeing a line-up that looks like this?
Hyman - Matthews - Pacioretty
Marleau - Kadri - Marner
JVR - Bozak - Brown
Komarov - Moore - Kapanen
Rielly - Weber
Gardiner - Hainsey
Dermott - Carrick
That’s 110 million reasons we’d finally be rid of Polak.
I rest my case.