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Newly signed Subban puts “extremely tough” chapter behind him

Jan 29, 2013, 8:52 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

297. That’s the number of days P.K. Subban went between his last game of the 2011-12 campaign and finally re-signing with the Montreal Canadiens.

Between the lockout and his personal fight for a contract as a restricted free agent, it’s been a long process that ended on Monday with a two-year, $5.75 million agreement.

“I’d say ‘difficult’ is an understatement. It was extremely tough to watch as a player,” Subban said in a Canadiens’ report. “The toughest was watching the home opener and watching all the great players who have come through the Montreal organization and helped build this franchise.

“They’ve put in place that mentality that the Montreal Canadiens are a family and a team. That’s the most important thing about the Montreal Canadiens.”

Now he can finally put this all behind him and the healing process can begin. Winning back his teammates isn’t likely to take much work, but winning back some of the fans might be another story.

“I think about the fans all the time; I see them in my dreams,” Subban said. “I admire the fans and the support and the relationship we have. Obviously right now my focus needs to be on the team and that’s all I can control.

“With this process, I understand everybody will have their opinion, but I’m just looking forward to helping my team win. Everyone likes to see the Montreal Canadiens win.”

With that in mind, the big question will be how long it will take before Subban makes his season debut. He missed training camp, but has spent three-and-a-half hours a day training with the OHL Mississauga Steelheads. Even still, it would be surprising if Subban played tonight, especially seeing as the Canadiens are riding a three-game win streak going into their contest against the Winnipeg Jets.

“I’m always ready to play,” Subban said. “I’m ready to go whenever Marc and Michel Therrien give me the green light.”

  1. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    This doesn’t sound like a loud mouth, selfish and ego driven player. The d men can use him, and Therrien said he wants to help him grow. We’ll see if he can make him the player he needs to justify Bergevin’s decision to pay him 3.75 next year. .

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      I don’t know about that, his team has already played four games without him, and did well. I don’t buy anything he says. I’ll bet he ‘demands’ a trade at some point.

      • reeggss - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        This guy is a locker room killer, glad he resigned…as a sabres fan

    • valoisvipers - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      If the Glassman Markov stays healthy that would sure help out PK’s game.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        You are absolutely correct. I doubt Markov is going to stay healthy. His movements are not fluid and his change of direction is not crisp. He seems to be skating on one leg, and when that happens it’s just a matter of time before he gets hurt. Habs brass must be holding their breath every time he’s on the ice. Frankly, why not move him now that PK is signed? His value is up now because of the great start so perhaps a struggling team is willing to give up some good talent and draft pick in return. I know I’ve been pointing out their lack of ability to transition from d to o, and one would think moving Markov will only hurt that aspect of their game. I agree, so if they move him they need to replace him with a d man who can move the puck well and who is healthier.

  2. jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    bahahaha “i see them in my dreams”. i think he is confused. “fans” means people….not $$$$

  3. buffalomafia - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    That’s all he got?

  4. jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    in all seriousness, 2 years 5.75 is fair, thats about what he is worth right now. dont know why it took so long if thats all it was gonna be. sounds like subban buckled, good work by Bergevin.

  5. bardown66 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Subban has potential, no doubt. I’d still take letang, doughty, and pietrangelo over him though.

  6. govtminion - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    To be honest, when I saw the deal, I assumed that was the amount he wanted per year… Montreal got a steal out of this signing.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      me too i had to go back and look at it, def good signing for both parties. if he improves in this 2 yrs he will be in good position to get what he wants and the habs will be happy to pay him – big difference in 4 yrs worth of production in contract negotiating vs 2 years.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      It’s short-sighted.

      What’s the point of getting Subban signed to a short term deal with a great cap hit? The Canadiens are rebuilding, there’s no way they’re going to need an extra million or two of cap space this year or next to enable them to take a shot at a long playoff run.

      Elliotte Friedman did a good job of finding the other recent Canadiens “bridge contracts,” for Tomas Plekanex, Mac Pacioretty, Carey Price and Josh Gorges. The Canadiens got great deals on those bridge contracts and then had to turn around and sign those players to pretty much market value – Gorge’s cap hit is $3.9m, Pacioretty $4.5m, Plekanec $5m, Price is $6.5m.

      I maintain that the Canadiens should have shown some flexibility on dollars in exchange for picking up a couple of extra years on the contract, you know that Subban is going to put his offensive game together and be asking for $5m or more two years from now and he’ll get it.

      It’s not a make or break decision, I just don’t see the point of all this beyond Bergevin winning some kind of moral victory.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        you’re basis for your entire argument is that subban WILL put up better numbers, stop slew footing people, and stop running his mouth. bergevin won by getting him in the lineup and not having to commit long term. you cant blame a team who just recently had to buy out one of the worst transactions in hockey history for being cautious in signing a 23 yr old punk to a long term deal. if mcdonaugh was still there, they couldve let subban rot for cheap or traded him for some value.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        Montreal right now is at $70M…$5M needs to come off at some point. So there’s the point. Plus, I believe the argument for a short term deal was so that PK is satisfied that his salary is going UP, both years. Plus, Montreal isn’t paying someone excess amounts for what they “could be”.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Jpelle it’s obvious you just don’t like the kid. Which is fine, I hate Brad Marchand for example but at least I can acknowledge he’s an effective NHLer and deserved a substantial raise, even if I also think he deserves to fall down a flight of concrete stairs.

        The fact is that most defencemen who put up the kinds of numbers Subban did in his first year go on to be impact players at the NHL level and get paid big money.. comparables are guys like Dion Phaneuf, Shea Weber and Joni Pitkanen. His second year was not a step forward in production but the 2011-12 season was an unmitigated disaster for the Montreal Canadiens organization and they clearly asked Subban to do more than he was ready for.

        Maybe his game will stagnate and he will simply never be better than he is now.. even then he will be worth more than he got on this contract (to put it in perspective just three defensemen scored more than Subban last year while making less than he will now, all three of them were on their ELCs).

        So fast forward two years, unless Subban has been worse over that time than he has been the last two years he’ll be signing a contract extension for more money than he got on this one – probably substantially more, and whatever cap trouble the Canadiens have will be magnified because they wanted a short term deal to save cap space through two seasons that in the grand scheme of things will not matter.. there are no expectations for that team to make noise in the playoffs through the term of Subban’s current deal.

        hockeywithdrawal I’m not sure what you’re talking about, according to capgeek and including the Scott Gomez cap hit the Canadiens have over $3m in space this year and over $8m next year. That’s plenty.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        Here’s what I was looking at – Gomez is already taken off –

        http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams/MTL?year=2013

        Also, in two years, Gionta, Kaberle, and Markov all potentially come off the books, while Subban is getting what he earned (for now) and will still be Restricted in two years, correct? They need to come down NOW, from what I’m seeing. I don’t know man…I understand what you are saying but I still don’t agree. We’ll agree to disagree! I’m just glad he’s not playing for the Pens.

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