The eight-year, $72 million deal that Marc Bergevin awarded PK Subban in the summer of 2014 is finally coming to an end. The defenseman had some very good years early in the contract, being a two-time Norris Trophy finalist (2015 and 2018) and helping the Predators reach the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals.
But we have to admit that he’s just not the same hockey player today.
His final year in Nashville was difficult and since his arrival with the Devils the quality of his game has deteriorated drastically. He has just 59 points in 189 games with New Jersey and has a -45 differential in three seasons.
Obviously playing with such a bad team doesn’t help his cause, but Subban hasn’t done much to help the Devils.
At the very least, he continues to stand out for his excellent work in the community.
The defender’s leadership qualities as well as his social commitment brought him the honor → https://t.co/nGWJWzw4v0
— Behind the scenes (@DLCoulisses) June 8, 2022
Subban will therefore be a free agent without compensation and it seems that his adventure in New Jersey is over.
This week at TVA Sports, Dave Morissette asked his panelists if they would bring the defender back to Montreal. They all offered very interesting answers.
Maxim Lapierre: If it’s not expensive, why not? For a gift to the fans, maybe because we would need it next year unless we make any major purchases. If he asks for a large salary, the answer is no. The plan is a remodel.
Alexandre Picard: You have to surround young people well. We’ve seen Wideman re-sign for at least two years, he’s a right-hander so he’s taking a spot. At the same time, you want your youngsters to play too. I’m not sure if it fits into the organization’s plans.
There is no denying that the return of Subban would be greatly appreciated by the fans and community. He defined a generation of Habs fans and remains the favorite player to wear the Canadiens uniform to this day. His replacement chilled many who to this day dislike Marc Bergevin.
Restoring the organization’s image in the eyes of many would certainly be a success. On the ice, however, it’s different. Subban isn’t the player he used to be and with David Savard, Chris Wideman and Jeff Petry there’s a lot of congestion on the right side of the blue line.
Even if Petry is traded, he would most likely be replaced with another right-hander (letang?). So in Montreal there wouldn’t be much room for the number 76.
Jacques Martin, who coached PK on his Montreal debut in 2012, offered an answer that certainly puts things into perspective:
He’s a good hockey player but I think maybe his priorities have changed. Developing and getting better may have come second to his activities. He can still play in the NHL, but is he the player who will help young people? I think he’s done a good job with the young people of New Jersey, but it remains to be seen if that’s the direction the Canadian organization wants to go.
This is certainly not the first time comments similar to Subban’s have been made. He’s one of the few players (maybe the only one) in the NHL who flaunts his image so much. He can be seen on TV, but also at all sorts of events or galas. Similar behaviors are common and even encouraged in leagues like the NFL, NBA or European football.
But in hockey it’s different and it seems like it always worked against Subban. Has that affected his education and career? Possibly.
Personally, if I had to choose between Wideman and Subban, I would have picked the former Norris Trophy winner. His bond with Montreal and the fans is undeniable, and he played the role of big brother well in New Jersey.
Given his performance over the past few years and the amount of money he’s made in his career, I’d be surprised if Subban was too greedy in his negotiations this summer.
Aside from PK’s return to Montreal opening a Pandora’s box and sparking another heated debate…
– Changes to the formation of the rocket
Kevin Roy back in training for the @RocketLaval
He only played one playoff game against Syracuse.
Nate Schnarr presents an uncertain case, JC Beaudin warms up and could replace him.
We’re going back to a formula with 12 attackers and 6 defenders. @ RDSca
— Patrick Friolet (@PFrioletRDS) June 11, 2022
– It seems that the gesture Hofer made yesterday cost him a start.
Charlie Lindgren is set to start for the Thunderbirds, although Joel Hofer is currently not suspended.
– Anthony Marcotte (@anthonymarcotte) June 11, 2022
– It is VERY expected.
Hockey Quebec prepares its “revolution” https://t.co/uiH2jY1Inn
– The Sports Press (@LaPresse_Sports) June 11, 2022
– Candidates who “fit” well in Philadelphia.
Listen #flyers have narrowed their coaching search to sources. The finalists are likely to include Barrydiot and John Tortorella.
They did their homework and interviewed a long list of detailed candidates @DailyFaceoff ⬇️https://t.co/LuDy7hDFHx
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 11, 2022
Did you know that Mika Zibanejad has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in Rangers’ five possible elimination games? That’s the most points in potential elimination games in a single postseason with Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar, both LAK 2014.
– Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 11, 2022