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What’s the plan? Subban to meet with agent today

Jan 28, 2013, 10:53 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

Having had a weekend to reflect on his situation, PK Subban will meet with his agent this morning in Toronto to figure out what to do next.

Per Louis Jean of TVA Sports, Subban and the Montreal Canadiens still have philosophical differences when it comes to the 23-year-old’s next contract. The club reportedly wants him to sign a two-year, $5.1 million “bridge” contract, while Subban is looking for considerably more.

What might Subban’s next move be?

One could be to sign what the Habs are offering, or at least drop his demands.

Another could be to continue waiting. And while he’s waiting, maybe another team will swoop in and give him an offer sheet.

Finally, he could request a trade.

The Canadiens are off to a 3-1-0 start, somewhat lessening the pressure on general manager Marc Bergevin to get his talented defenseman back into the lineup.

Related: Montreal not budging on its two-year offer to Subban

  1. joethorntonisclutch - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Big hitter and some offense too? Pay the kid.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      He has not earned the paycheck yet. His inflated view of his worth is detrimental not just to the team, but also will have an impact on everyone else’s demands going forward. The cap was lowered considerably and there just isn’t room for egomania right now. Either get him to sign a reasonable contract or show him the door. He wants to make more than Norris Trophy candidates…he’s a LONG way from sanity here.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        He wants to make more than Norris trophy candidates? The only way you could argue that this is true is if you cherry pick players on their entry level contracts (Karlsson, Pietrangelo, Doughty) and guys who signed deals just before breaking out in a huge way (say Keith Yandle, who had one 30 point season and then went on to put up nearly 60 points before signing a huge contract).

        I do think Subban has a right to ask for the dollar value I think he is probably asking for.. something in the $4-5m range. It is not generally accepted value for players on their second contracts but it is fair value for a player of his talent and impact. The real problem here is that many GMs, fans (and even some players) expect these unwritten rules about “second contracts” to hold sway, and there’s no real reason for it other than the tradition of vastly underpaying young players.

        The silly thing here is that if the two sides were willing to compromise the Canadiens could easily get a deal that sees great value for Subban over the term – look at a player like Alex Edler, the Canucks could have lowballed him coming off his entry level deal but instead they gave him $3.25m over four years (this was when guys like Mattias Ohlund and Jaro Spacek were getting $3-4m per). It was a bit of an overpayment to start but the last two years of the deal are incredible.. last year Edler put up 49 points and was selected as an All Star.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        And I’ll just say that just because I think Subban has a right to ask for $4-5m does not mean I think that’s what the Canadiens should offer him – I just think offering him $2m and change (or nothing) is short-signed.

        Give him $3.5m per for three or four years and he’ll be a bargain for most of the contract. Does anything beyond that really matter?

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        *short-sighted, not “short-signed”.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        davebaby – he hasnt proven anything except he can run his mouth and slew foot people. he has 2 yrs experience where he hasnt even broke 40 pts and where half of his pts come off the pp. i would call him shut down by any means but he isnt a liability either – is that worth 5 mill a year – 23 yrs old w/ average defensive ability and 37 pts per year? i would say no too if i was Bergevin

      • jpelle82 - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        *wouldn’t

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        Did you even read my comments or did you just scan them while half-baking a reply? I specifically said I wouldn’t sign him to that either.

        If I was going to comment on this with the same one-sidedness you’re approaching things with I would just slag the Canadiens organization from top to bottom and talk about how their offer ($2.5m per season? that’s Steve Montador money) is out of line.

        The fact is that there’s a fair deal for the player and a good deal for the team to be made in between the two sets of demands.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        By the way, I’ve seen a boatload of people express indifference towards Subban’s production, the fact is that for a player to get into the league and produce like he has so quickly is extremely rare (for defensemen anyways).

        There are six defensemen since 2000 who produced better than Subban’s rookie year at a similar age (21 or 22) with a similar level of experience (first or second year in the league).

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        It’s easy produce as a defenseman when you look play like a turnstyle

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        No, I got what you are saying – 2.5 to 3.5 (3.5 seems high to me when you look at his +/- over two years – er actually over his career). I understand that he’s very athletic. I don’t see him reading plays well enough for bigger money. Evidently Neither does Montreal management.

        The comment on salary expectations for Norris Trophy candidates is not off base. You can call it “cherry picking” but these guys earned their raises, Subban has not. Letang, who is also a top shelf defender, isn’t making what Subban wants to be making.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Can you explain why the Habs are paying Prust 2.5m per year?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      This is a tough one. I get where PK is coming from. A lot can happen in two years: injuries, down seasons, a change in how the market values players, etc. He wants to cash in now when his play only seems to be improving and his value only seems to be rising.

      But the Habs ownership also knows a lot can happen in two years so logically they will be hesitant to sign him to the deal he’s asking for. Every day this drags on a trade or possibly somebody stepping in with an offer sheet seems more likely.

  2. valoisvipers - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I hate the Habs but they are right on the money with PK. Let him play two more years to prove to the doubters like myself what he is worth.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      I would agree with you, however, if they can pay prost 2.5m, then I think they should pay him at least 4m per year.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        Prust that is.. not Alain Prost.. the F1 driver, however, PK does skate like he’s on fire. :-)

  3. ribs108 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    The fact is that Subban is worth a lot based on his marketing value more than his play (although he was forced into #1 or 2 defenseman status last season, playing on PK and PP and often double-shifting, so his value is also high ON the ice). I believe his ‘pay me what I’m worth’ includes his marketing value, whereby his shirts, jerseys, posters, etc. are all over town. Perhaps they can agree on more money for less years, but I think it’d be best for him to get a new start elsewhere. A Toronto offer sheet would be most welcome as a homecoming for him.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      He’d look good in blue and white, that’s for sure.

  4. lonespeed - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    His crappy personality aside…

    I don’t really like his game. He’s an offense-first defenseman who will take risks and has a bad habit of trying to make the pretty play. I’m okay with blue-liners jumping in a play and having offesensive skill, but not when it takes away from their sole responsibility of playing defense.

    Furthermore, I think when he was out of the line-up last year Montreal was having a better time of it as well. He seems to make them better from a aesthetic stand-point but not a scoreboard stand-point.

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      With the right system and defensive d-men around him, an offensive d-man can be great for your team. As for most of his points coming on the PP, I know of a team in Detroit that would love to have a d-man with that problem.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      They’re doing pretty well without him this year, too.

  5. somekat - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Hard to say, because I haven’t really seen what PK is asking for. For all I know, he’s asking for 7-8 mil a year.

    That being said, I do think he is worth more than a 2 year, 5.1 mil contract, and I don’t see why the Habs wouldn’t sweeten that deal. Maybe something along the lines of 3 years 9 mil at least? I think something like 3 years/10 mil would be more than fair to both sides. Not too long of a deal to eat up PK’s prime, and not so low in salary that it is a travesty. Probably a little underpaid, but he’d be hitting UFA in his prime

  6. westof1club - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Flow, your dislike of Subban is quite evident, but your points don’t hold any credibility. He was a plus player last year, his 2nd in the league. He plays top line minutes and produced more than higher paid d men on other teams.

    I keep pointing to Mike Green & John Carlson. They don’t get any grief for their contracts (Carlson is basically the same age, and didn’t have a better offensive or defensive year last year before inking a deal worth 5+ million days before the lockout). Green is often hurt and just learned how to be responsible in his own zone under Hunter last year. He’s making over 6 million.

    Pay the man.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Not sure I’d make the comparison to Green and Carlson (actually I think Carlson is a far better defender than Subban though, but that is opinion).

      The fact is that Montreal is trying to win a cup, or at least be competitive enough to attempt to do so. You’re comparing a reasonable salary to two players on a team that hasn’t won the cup since…ever.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Also – again, I’d point to Letang, on a team that HAS won the cup, who is a good bit better than Subban at every aspect of the game, and is making well under what Subban wants ($3.5M).

  7. mclovinhockey - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    The problem is he sees similar players like Matt Carle get over 5 a year.
    Both have average defence ability, put up good number and turn the puck over like crazy

  8. buffalomafia - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    If Montreal doesn’t want him then Buffalo would take him!

    We need scorers! We will give Montreal Kaleta, Gerbe & Leopold!

  9. coreym1945 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    “Entry Level” & “Restricted Free Agent” contracts are the only contracts in which management has any leverage & control at all over a player. Why would MTL or any team for that matter simply forego that leverage & be willing to pay their RFAs similar money to that of Unrestricted Free Agents? Subban could easily sign a one year deal to establish/maintain his value as a top dman & then MTL would have to pay him even more money next year. There is nothing uncommon or unique at all in Subbans case. Lots of players out-preform their entry level deals. They often sign a one year RFA deal & then revisit the matter the following year. I watched this play out in PHI with Voracek & Simmonds. Both ended up with the contracts they wanted after playing through RFA deals while making less money then they would have prefered. The bottom line is that Subban isnt going to find a heavty long term deal anywhere until he has played through his RFA years.

  10. timmmah10 - Jan 28, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    If he is offer sheeted by another team at 4.5 million, I believe they have to give up their 1st and 3rd round picks next year should Montreal not match.

    First and a third rounder for a top team might not be that bad of a deal…

    I’m actually shocked he hasn’t been offer sheeted by another team… At least at a number closer to what he is asking.

  11. westof1club - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Carlson has (or before yesterday, had) the worst +\- in the league. He hasn’t out pointed Subban in any year he’s played. He finished his entry level contract and cashed in before the lockout. MTL instead stalled on their behalf.

    Letang plays on an offensive minded club, benefitting from having finishers like Staal, Malkin, & Crosby on any shift he takes the ice. Not comparable.

    Your opinion is noted, but irrelevant. The facts are he’s worth the $ based on his production, age, and his peers’ salaries.

  12. jburrell4 - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Staal get traded back to the Pens already??

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