Normally with Shea Weber, a two-time Norris Trophy finalist, you know exactly what you're going to get.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pounder never has totaled fewer than 40 points in a full NHL season. He is strong in his own end, hits, fights and blasts 105 mph slap shots.
But for the first time since his early years as a full-time NHLer, he won't have Ryan Suter as his defensive partner. Suter left for the Wild.
Before 2011-12, Weber struggled when Suter was out of the lineup. But last season, with Suter nursing an upper-body injury for three games in January, Weber and Roman Josi played well together and there was little, if any, drop-off in Weber's game.
Weber and Josi probably will pair on Nashville's top unit. Josi, a second-year pro, might have Suter-like skating ability and puck-moving skills, but he lacks his predecessor's overall defensive ability.
Coach Barry Trotz had the luxury of putting Suter and Weber out on top offensive and defensive matchups. He might not have the same ability with Josi and Weber.
The next couple of pairs have size, speed, offense and toughness.
Ryan Suter's departure means changes for Nashville Predators' defense
Tennessean | Jan 17