This just in: Minutes after I published this post, the Canadiens announced that they had signed P.K. Subban to an eight-year deal. My power is truly frightening. I must use it wisely.
Here’s my original post:
All week, I have been in a state of panic over this P.K. Subban crisis, posting on all the usual social-media networks to air my fears about what was going on. And people – many of whom I respect (and some of whom I don’t!) – kept telling me to calm down, that everything would be alright.
That the Habs would sign the superstar defenceman by Thursday to a lucrative long-term contract.
Well guess what? I was right – sadly – and you rose-coloured-glasses types were wrong. P.K. is not signed, the player and the Habs went to an ugly arbitration hearing in Toronto Friday and now the arbitrator will decide how much Subban makes this season. Oh and it’ll be a one-year contract, period.
This is nothing short of a total and utter disaster for the Canadiens and, by extension, their fans. Okay, of course you and I don’t know what was said in the negotiations or at the hearing Friday, but all signs point to the notion that Habs GM Marc Bergevin has been once again low-balling Subban and refusing to pay him what he’s worth, which is in the neighbourhood of $8 million per year.
I say ‘again’ because Bergevin and the team have already treated the star player in shoddy fashion in the last negotiations, refusing to give him a long-term deal, which would’ve been great for the team’s stability and would’ve actually saved them money.
But no, he had to be given the famous Habs “bridge” contract – small money over two years – to make him understand that he’s no bigger than any of the other players. Since the arrival of the Bergevin/Michel Therrien tandem, the message to P.K. has been clear.
You’re just another of Les Boys. So keep that ego in check. No player is bigger than the team chez les Habs, the most all-controlling organization this side of the Vatican.
And they’re so wrong. Sure the team comes first but Subban is the most exciting player to put on a Canadiens sweater since Guy Lafleur and he and Carey Price are the guys who’re most likely to bring you a Cup.
As someone told me at the Osheaga bar last night, Subban probably made $10 million for the Habs last season. No Subban, no trip to the conference final. Simple as that. Without his theatrics, his passion, his ‘we’re going to silence the crowd at the Garden’ promise, the Habs do not beat the Bruins. Ain’t happening. He took that series by the throat and ran with it.
Cos he’s that kind of player. Max Pacioretty didn’t do that. Andrei Markov didn’t do that. And I like those guys but Subban is one of those guys who can change a game, a series, a season, and there are only around a dozen or so guys like that in the league.
So Marc, why the hell are you treating him like crap? I just don’t get it. This morning he should be signed to an 8-year $64 million deal. Instead you’re sounding bitter, he’s sounding bitterly disappointed and the future of the Habs is hanging in the balance.
How the eff does that make any kind of sense? When Therrien was busting P.K.’s cojones earlier this season, I wrote that you should step in and tell the coach to grow a brain. But now I’m beginning to realize that you were on the same page as the kindly ol’ coach. You guys have a problem with P.K. and I’m just letting you know right here and now if you have a problem with P.K., then I have a big problem with you.
This is a team that’s thrived on running its superstars out of town – from Lafleur to Chelios to Roy to – and it breaks my goddamn heart to say this – maybe just maybe P.K. Subban.
Do you want that to be your legacy M. Bergevin?
Yeah I’m pissed off.