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P.K. Subban says criticism ‘adds more fuel to the fire’

May 11, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT

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Earlier this season, the CBC’s PJ Stock raised eyebrows by claiming that the Montreal Canadiens were far from excited to hear that P.K. Subban was set to join the team again after signing a new contract. Fair or not, Subban has been a lightning rod for criticism quite often in his career, yet he told NHL.com’s Arpon Basu that the negativity can give him a boost.

“I actually kind of like it when they talk like that, because it just adds more fuel to the fire,” Subban said.

Subban, 23, will only get to redirect that negative energy toward his offseason regimen. (Then again, the young blueliner will need another contract after the 2013-14 season, so motivation shouldn’t be in short supply this summer anyway.)

It seems that Subban is comfortable with the pressure that comes with being a young, sometimes polarizing star in Montreal. Subban shrugged off criticisms to The Globe & Mail in March.

“Unless someone’s knocking on my door at 3:30 in the morning disrupting my sleep, I don’t get too rattled,” Subban said. “You have to have thick skin playing here. If people want to say they’re hard on me, that’s fine, but I think I’m harder on myself than anything.”

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