Nashville Predators: The Significance of Shea Weber and Roman Josi

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 7: Roman Josi #59 and Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 7: Roman Josi #59 and Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /

Without being a prisoner of the moment, the debate is worth having on if Roman Josi has already passed Shea Weber in all-time greatness for the Nashville Predators.

There’s no debate to have on putting Shea Weber among the short list of greatest players of all-time in Nashville Predators history. Should he still be at the top all alone?

Many are going to naturally bring up Pekka Rinne as the greatest of all-time in Predators history, and rightfully so. I’m going to put him into a category all on his own because he’s a goaltender.

But then you have Roman Josi. A player that has gradually been ascending into one of the top players in all of the NHL, and most certainly at an elite status.

Weber was at the elite status as well when he played for the Predators up until 2016. Just for the sake of argument, is Weber is still ahead of Josi in terms of franchise impact?

The case for Josi as G.O.A.T in Preds history

Josi is now quickly catching Weber on the all-time franchise list in a lot of categories, including points, goals and game played. He’s already passed Weber in assists with 304 to Weber’s 277 with Nashville.

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It’s obviously not just about career totals when having this discussion of if Josi has already passed Weber in terms of greatness in Predators history.

Weber was a major part in putting the Predators into being a regular playoff team. Often times they struggled to get over the first round hump, but Weber absolutely played a vital role in building the foundation.

As for Josi, he joined a team that was already one of the best in the league and was really outperforming expectations.

The Predators finished with 104 points and a second place finish in the division in Josi’s first season of 2011-12, in which he quickly got major ice time and contributed to the team.

At just age 23, Josi became a huge piece of the team hitting the 40-point mark and astoundingly averaging over 26 minutes of ice time.

Weber was one of many leaders on that team that included Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, David Legwand, Patric Hornqvist and a young Craig Smith. Maybe the best roster top-to-bottom in franchise history.

Fast forward to this past season, and the team has really been going in the opposite direction. If not for Josi’s heroics to carry the offense at times, this team would’ve been one of the small number of team that didn’t even make the Return to Play format.

Josi is absolutely critical to this team on a level that Weber was never close to. That’s not to fault Weber in any way, but Josi does so much more to keep this team from sinking completely.

The Norris Trophy was icing on the cake to an extraordinary regular season for Josi that was unfortunately cut short due to the pandemic. Weber absolutely deserved a Norris Trophy while he was with the Predators as well.

They’re both elite defenseman that the Predators are fortunate to have had at the same time for a few seasons. Josi’s quick ascension into elite status alleviated the pain of losing Weber in the trade for P.K. Subban, whose time was electric, but brief in Nashville.

I think everyone can agree that Josi will eventually pass Weber as the best player of all-time in franchise history. Just look at where he’s at already with still plenty of time left in the prime of his career.

Where people probably disagree with me is that I already have Josi past Weber in that regard. He’s carrying this team in recent memory on a level that I haven’t seen from many defenseman. And the best could still be yet to come.

No matter who you personally have ahead of the other in this fun debate, the Predators wouldn’t have been a perennial playoff team for the last decade-plus without these two franchise changing players.