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P.K. Subban and other free agents who need new deals

Jan 6, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

Budding defensive star P.K. Subban was quick to react to the lockout, but now he must bite his nails about another intense negotiation process: his own.

The restricted free agent needs a new contract before taking part in a hasty training camp in advance of an abbreviated season. He admitted to the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs that the Montreal Canadiens likely hold the leverage.

“The ball’s not in my court, it never has been,” Subban said. “(The ball’s) in the court of the franchise that’s been standing for 100-plus years. They must figure out whether they see me as a player who’s part of their future or not. I hope they do.”

That sounds like some tough talk, yet the 23-year-old blueliner also said all the right things about the team and the city.

“I love Montreal and I want to continue to grow my career there and become the player they need me to be to eventually hoist the Stanley Cup, which I hope happens sooner than later,” Subban said.

Participating in training camp probably wouldn’t hurt matters.

Subban isn’t alone, though. Here are some prominent players who need new deals, beginning with restricted free agents like Subban:

Notable RFAs without contracts (more here):

Jamie Benn
Ryan O’Reilly
Michael Del Zotto
Dmitry Kulikov
Cody Franson
Nick Palmieri

(Note: O’Reilly signed a two-year deal in the KHL during the lockout, but his potential overseas team said they wouldn’t stand in the way of an NHL contract.)

Notable unrestricted free agents (more here):

Tomas Holmstrom
Mike Knuble
Jason Arnott
Marco Sturm
Mike Commodore
Colin White
Jason Blake
Brian Rolston
Andrew Brunette
Daymond Langkow
Eric Fehr

(Some of these players might retire; Holmstrom seemed undecided when last asked.)

  1. bleed4philly - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    He should just sign a one-year deal, then get a new deal in the fall when he will be more prepared and his value will go up with a full off season.

  2. manchestermiracle - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Will contracts negotiated before the lockout be honored? There’s been a lot written lately about the new CBA, but I haven’t seen that gem mentioned. Did I miss it somewhere?

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    The notable unrestricted free agent list can best be summed up in one word, uninspiring!

  4. keepphil - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Eric Fehr? If I were an owner I’d not sign him just on surname principle.

  5. hockeyfan28 - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Mike Knuble looks like a good bet to make a roster spot even being in his late 30’s still can
    throw in a goal or two

    • zico25 - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Knuble in Pittsburgh. He always seems to kill us with timely goals.

    • somekat - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      It will depend on his role with the team Unfortunately for Knubs, he’s turned in to a 4th liner, maybe a 3rd line winger. But he will wants to be playing on a scoring line.

      My guess is he’ll get a job, I’d take him on my team, but the question is how is is going to transition in to that role.

  6. withseidelinn - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Knuble, Arnott and Fehr are the most notable guys on that list in terms of impact they would have on their teams, in my opinion. I’m surprised Fehr isn’t signed already, he’s obviously not super talented but is an above average 3rd line guy with offensive upside. Big body as well.

    • somekat - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      I’d add White also, if not just because he’s the only notable Dman on the list

  7. bcjim - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Benn who is great, Subban who is overrated and a garbage barge of other folks.


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