Man is this going to be quite a soap opera. It looks like training camp is opening Saturday and the dashing young fellow who is arguably the Habs’s top star, P.K. Subban, is not signed. Subban is a restricted free agent and, by all reports, he is looking for a long-term deal that will pay him a heck of a lot more than the bargain-basement $875,000 he was paid by the Canadiens last year.
But the Habs new management team don’t want to give the 23-year-old a long-term contract – for reasons only known to their psychiatrists. Here’s the guy who is easily the most exciting young player – who is not a goalie – to join the team in a couple of decades and the Canadiens, in classic Habs fashion, are refusing to modify their famously conservative negotiating style just because he’s a fan favourite (and an unbelievable talent).
I just heard Habs GM Marc Bergevin on Les Amateurs de Sports making some broad hints to host Mario Langlois that he wouldn’t be offering Subban a long-term deal. Bergevin was also less than effusive in his praise for Subban.
“P.K. is a good young defenceman with a good future,” said Bergevin. (My translation.)
Langlois then asked if Subban could be considered an “untouchable”.
“Give me some time,” said Bergevin. “I haven’t even seen my team play.”
That all has me feeling a little nervous. And if Subban isn’t signed by the time the Habs take the ice Saturday, the thing is going to be a major distraction. Already the controversy is heating up. Dany Dubé on 98.5 just said that Subban hasn’t proven anything yet.
Mais voyons donc! 14 goals in his rookie season with the Habs? That’s proof enough for me. That he’s the most exciting player on the ice on many a night? How is it that Subban still doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Sure he had an up-and-down season last year but keep in mind he was playing for a psychotic team. He’s going to be a major star in this League and the Habs would just be seriously goofy to risk letting him slip away.