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Therrien: Subban ‘understands’ benching vs. Philly

Jan 10, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT

Michel Therrien praised his “great” relationship with P.K. Subban on Friday, saying the defenseman understands why he was benched during the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Flyers two nights ago.

Subban, the defending Norris winner that was recently named to Canada’s Olympic team, was parked for roughly 10 minutes in the final frame after taking an unnecessary roughing penalty on Sean Couturier, one that drew Therrien’s ire.

“Didn’t like the penalty,” Therrien said, as per “Especially after a scrum – 20 seconds after it. It’s not a hockey play. Not happy.”

Therrien’s usage of Subban has come under fire throughout this season, though he usually bristles whenever the subject is raised (today, he said folks were “making a big story” out of what he saw as nothing.) The ongoing saga has added another layer to Subban’s contract situation, which was already pretty complex.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Subban — a RFA at season’s end — could be asking for between $8-$9 million annually on his new deal, which will likely be long-term. As such, one has to wonder how much longer Therrien can keep trying to flex his muscle, in light of the fact Subban, already one of the NHL’s elite defensemen, could soon carry the additional clout of being one of the league’s highest-paid players.

  1. storminator16 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    I love it how Dion Phaneuf can play inconsistently on a nightly basis, garner a 7×7 contract, and escape any criticism whatsoever.

    I want to throw THAT card so bad.

    • storminator16 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      I also forgot to add the fact Phaneuf doesn’t get his minutes cut for his mistakes and lack of production. Hmmmmmm. Who would you rather have on your team: Subban or Phaneuf? I look forward to seeing P.K. on someone else’s blue line next season while making his bank account explode.

      • ribs108 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Right on storminator! He should switch agents and tell the Habs he wants $10M+ per – and when Geoff and Marc say no, he should say “okay, I’ll just ask for 8 from everyone else, see ya”. That’s what he should do because of how he’s always their scapegoat. No other star is benched like that. I liked it because they kept their best offensive weapon on the bench in the 3rd period of a close game. The Flyers must’ve found it most helpful. As their ‘fans’ say, the Canadiens are the best-run organization in sports history. Go PK!! Save your sanity. Go away from Montreal!!

      • blackandorangeforlife - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Ribs that is retarded
        ““okay, I’ll just ask for 8 from everyone else, see ya”. ….And as soon as he signed Montreal would match the offer and guess what?….He would still be a Hab only $2mil less…..But i dont see any club offering him a $10 mil cap hit!

      • hazlydose - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        I guess some people don’t grasp the concept of Restricted free agency…

    • c9castine - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      oh yeah definitely. subban is in his situation though because he drew attention to himself his first year or two and then was in a contract dispute. now he won a norris (which I’m sorry, was a bad award no matter who else you think should have won.) so yeah he’s going to be looked at more closely.

      there is a lot of players in that spotlight though.

      • storminator16 - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        He drew attention to himself. Wow, throw him underneath the prison.

      • c9castine - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        im not even sure what your trying to say.

        he drew attention to himself and he plays in montreal. not sure what anybody else was expecting. stop being so sensitive about it.

  2. btlpper68 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Norris trophy winner what a joke

  3. joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Therrien doesn’t know how to coach a superstar. Yes! PK is a superstar whether you like hm or not. You don’t treat your best player like he did in Philly! You win or lose with your best players. PK should just wait out his time and bolt as soon as he’s a UFA. Based on my understanding of the CBA he will be a UFA June 30, 2015 if he is not under contract. His current contract ends in 2014. Worse case he can sign for two years and then run far from Montreal. Who has the most points on the habs? Who has the best +/- rating? Who has the most time on ice per game? Yes! It’s PK. Your current reigning Norris Trophy winner.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      This particular occurrence aside, it is critical that all players on a team are held accountable for their actions and decisions on the ice.

      Yes your best players should get more rope than a fourth line role player who should never be noticeable (in a bad way), but playing favourites or allowing them to take risks that are totally unrelated to actual gameplay that you wouldn’t allow their teammates to take is a big mistake in my opinion.

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        You can’t have a blanket policy without invoking exceptions based on the case. All Therrien had to do was to make him skip one shift or two at the most. Everybody would have noticed, and the coach would have passed his message to Subban. At the NHL level it’s not uncommon for the captain to express the pulse of the team, of his own observations to the coach. It wouldn’t surprise me if Gionta would discuss the situation with Therrien explaining him that you don’t have to use a cannon to kill a fly, and you don’t want the team to be penalized because the coach is stubborn.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Are you for real? Go look at the shift charts, Subban played six shifts in the third period where he was so outrageously benched as opposed to 9 in the second and 10 in the first.

        You’re angry he got benched 3-4 shifts instead of 1-2 and think one of the players should take his coach aside and tell him how to do his job in light of this? That’s preposterous.

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Then you have no idea the responsibility a captain has off the ice. If you don’t think the C’s job is to go beyond what we see, then you really are clueless.

      • storminator16 - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        “This particular occurrence aside, it is critical that all players on a team are held accountable for their actions and decisions on the ice.”

        Tell that to any coach who has had the pleasure of coaching Eric Staal. Guy could kill kittens and he’ll still get his minutes. Superstars are and should be treated differently than Joe Blow player. Not sure if I like this thinking, but I understand this thinking.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 13, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        Joey I am sure there is some variance in what certain coaches and certain captains do on and off the ice around the league, different dynamics depending on the teams, and personalities involved.

        I assume the section of the article you linked that you’re trying to prop up your argument with is the “communicate the teams needs to the coach” part where he talks about dealing with problems in the room or scheduling issues that affect everyone. Here’s the thing, he never talks about micromanaging the coaches lineup decisions or anything even close to that.

        I think it’s pretty clear at this point, that either you are the only person who thinks Subban missing two extra shifts is “using a cannon to kill a fly,” or you went off half cocked and weren’t really clear on the particulars of what happened in that game and can’t step back and admit you were wrong.

        I’m not even trying to be rude about it, it’s just plain as day that this “incident” was just completely insignificant and nobody involved with it even cares. So maybe we should all just leave it where it lies at this point.

    • theskinsman - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:56 AM

      Overrated diva.Therrien is trying to teach him something, which is actually his job.

      • joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:20 AM

        Oh! Someone is frustrated. Did you dream of making it to the pros but failed?

  4. restohpens - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Where the heck is the all knowing, highly intelligent, hilariously up roaring, blomfeld when you need him?

    Please, straighten this mess out for us with your ingenious intellect my friend.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      everybody gives him sh**, but when he’s absent, I never know what Elvis song to listen to or who’s the 28th thru 30th best goalies in the league.

  5. topshelf37 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    I’m sure a lot of Olympians are being benched for poor play, let alone Norris Trophy Winners…

    • ibieiniid - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      I got this one, Habs fans.

      POOR play? you need to read the article.

  6. matt14gg - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Max level contract guy, no question about it. I can’t stand him as a B’s fan, but he is a borderline superstar. In this NHL that’s how you have to pay him.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      What? Do you watch the games?

      • storminator16 - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Do you?

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    This guy won a Norris….unreal

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      I seriously don’t understand what people see in this kid. He’s not a superstar elite defenseman by any means. He’s not reliable defensively like a elite defenseman is supposed to be. It’s pathetic this kid won the Norris. Score the most points and your a sure fire Norris winner, that seems to be the criteria needed these days. If he gets 8-9 mil that’ll be the worst signing to date. He certainly lacks the respect and leadership needed to be elite. Like Mike Richards said about him when he first came in the league and still stands today, he has no respect for other players and the game

  8. muckleflugga - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    i like subban

    his poke at couturier, after the fact and from behind safety of officials, was unmanly…betraying leakage in character and discipline following him rookie year onward…

    subban may be a competent in his position, but to call him superstar diminishes the term, built around likes of lidstrom, orr and harvey…he may in time and with maturity, scale those heights…

    subban’s norris win was an aberration in a year when there was no true norris winner by definition or form…anywhere…the current season will see another winner by default, if standard of prior winners is weighed against the current talent pool

    subban and his agent and a diminishing canadian dollar will cause his move south…in due course, a great migration will begin as player and agent board the money train south…les canadiens, superbly managed but with nothing more than rumour of a cup in twenty odd years, should have paid more attention to the financial pages…

    perhaps they did

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Whoa whoa whoa.

      A diminishing Canadian dollar is going to mean Subban moves away from the third highest-valued franchise in the league (at over three quarters of a billion dollars), which plays in a city that sells out every game at some of the highest prices in the world?

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