The Nashville Predators acquired P.K. Subban from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Shea Weber on Wednesday in a blockbuster swap of All-Star defensemen two days before free agency opens.

Subban won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in 2013 and had six goals and 45 assists last season before suffering an injury. The dynamic, offensive-minded 27-year-old has 63 goals and 215 assists in 434 career games, all with the Canadiens.

He said he was not surprised by the trade because there had been so many rumors since he signed a $72 million, eight-year contract in the summer of 2014. Subban’s no-movement clause that would’ve allowed him to block any trade was set to kick in on Friday.

“With a lot of the chatter that kind of happened over the little while, I’m a firm believer that usually where there’s smoke there’s fire,” Subban said on a conference call. “Obviously it’s a little bit surreal but it happened.”

Subban was not always a favorite of Coach Michel Therrien despite his playmaking ability. Still, Montreal General Manager Marc Bergevin said trading Subban was “one of the most difficult decisions” he has had to make.

“P.K. Subban is a special and very talented player, Bergevin said. “He provided the Canadiens’ organization with strong performances on the ice and generous commitment in the community,” including a $10 million donation to Montreal Children’s Hospital last year.

Nashville GM David Poile said the trade was first discussed at the draft last weekend in Buffalo. It was worth it for Poile giving up Weber for Subban.

“P.K. Subban is an elite offensive defenseman with tremendous skill and contagious energy that makes the Nashville Predators a better team now and into the future,” Poile said. “Superstar defensemen of his caliber are a rare commodity, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization.”

DEVILS-OILERS: The Devils finally have a legitimate goal scorer, and he is coming to New Jersey with a chip on his shoulder after a surprising trade.

The Devils acquired a ‘slighted’ Taylor Hall from Edmonton in a straight-up deal for defenseman Adam Larsson.

The move gives the goal-starved Devils an exciting young left wing who was the No. 1 pick overall in 2010, while the Oilers get a solid defenseman who went No. 4 overall in 2011.

An emotional Hall said the move caught him off guard after six losing seasons in Edmonton.

“It’s tough,” the 24-year-old Hall said in a conference call. “I have a pretty deep connection to the city of Edmonton. I felt I did everything I could there so it’s pretty hard not to feel slighted.”

LIGHTNING: Captain Steven Stamkos is staying put.

The 26-year-old Stamkos tweeted that he was “excited to be back for 8 more years” and three people familiar with the decision confirmed the move. One said Stamkos will average $8.5 million per season.

BLUE JACKETS: Columbus signed defenseman Seth Jones, a restricted free agent, to a $32.4 million, six-year contract.