There is a question floating around hockey circles in Montreal: do the Canadiens know just how good P.K. Subban is? While general manager Marc Bergevin has to be aware of how important Subban is to his team’s future, he’s not telling the defenseman numbers that he wants to hear. The current reported offer to the restricted free agent is two-years and $5 million and that’s just not what Subban thinks he’s worth.
Little or no progress made in PK Subban contract negotiations. Habs firm on 2 year deal, roughly $5 mil total. Offer sheet? Trade? Options.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 26, 2013
Reports say that Subban wants a long term deal that would keep him in Montreal for the next half-decade. He insists he’s not holding out for more than he’s worth, rather he just wants to be paid what he deserves.
“We’re not trying to rob the bank here,” Subban told the Montreal Gazette. “We’re not reinventing anything. We’re not holding a gun to the Canadiens’ head.”
But while Subban is merely trying to get paid, as he’s a very important part of the Habs future, Pat Hickey of the Gazette says that with every win the Canadiens gets, Subban’s value to the Habs takes a serious hit. Basically, by holding out Subban is ‘hurting his brand’ in Montreal.
If he has been paying attention, he will have noticed several things: The Canadiens are doing fine without him in the lineup. This team is better than the one that finished last in the Eastern Conference a year ago and Subban would probably enjoy being part of it. His stock is falling with each Canadiens win.
-Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette
Despite historically impatient Montreal fans already at wits end with Subban, he says he can’t imagine playing anywhere else in the NHL or for any other fanbase than the one that’s seen him grow in Montreal.
“It doesn’t matter how many times I step on the ice at the Bell Centre, I have the same feeling every time: my head’s ready to explode, I want to kill somebody cutting across the blue line and I want to score the goal and celebrate.” Subban said to the Gazette. “I’ll do it by any means possible to win a hockey game. That’s how I feel playing there. I’m not sure I’d have that feeling anywhere else.”
The sides are still at least three years and a lot of dollars apart on a deal, so it could be some time before we see Subban come near a blue line, let alone someone cutting across it.