Let me make one thing clear right off the bat – we need to get Halak back.
Oops. No that’s another blog (and a dumb joke!).
No the thing I want to make clear is that it’s totally great to have P.K. Subban back in the Canadiens line-up. I was at my son’s hockey game tonight and a couple of us hockey dads were thinking out loud about just how good the Canadiens are gonna look with P.K. on the blue-line. Here’s a team that’s gone 3-and-1 in its first week, with Markov on fire, Galchenyuk looking like a superstar-to-be and guys like Bouillon and Prust adding some much-needed oomph to the Habs game. (I mean have you seen lil’ Frankie Bouillon crushing guys on the boards? This is a guy that our old friend Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey was insisting was washed up…..four years ago!)
Add P.K. to the mix and well…..rent that balcony with a good view of Ste. Catherine St. for June’s festivities right now!
But there’s one other thing that’s clear – the Habs got Subban at a bargain-basement price. $5.75 million for two years. You know Habs general manager Marc Bergevin won this little game of chicken. Subban and his agent Don Meehan wanted more years and more money and they got neither.
Short version? Subban and Meehan rolled the dice and lost. They figured Bergevin would have to budge from his philosophy of signing bridge contracts for young players and simply wouldn’t take the chance of losing Subban. But what they hadn’t considered was that the Habs would go on a tear in their first week and, worse for Subban, that the star of the show would be none other than a D-man named Andrei Markov.
Markov has four goals in four games and he has quite simply looked like a phenom this week. Obviously it would’ve been better for Subban’s negotiations if his team had been struggling in the early going – presumably putting pressure on Bergevin to bring in the patented Subban one-timer to light-up the score-board and the folks in the stands.
“It really was the right thing to do at this time,” said Meehan on Le Match on TVA Sports Monday night.
The key phrase here is – “at this time”. As in, Subban and Meehan would’ve never dreamed of signing this deal last week back when we were all thinking this team would be in the same garage-leagues as last year’s sad-sack club.
There really is a new sheriff in town – and his name is M. Bergevin. First he solves the Gomez riddle in one decisive move and then goes mano-a-mano with Subban and comes out the winner.
So does Subban feel burned by the Habs? Will he feel little or no loyalty when his contract expires in two years? By playing hard-ball with Subban and refusing to sign a long-term deal, does Bergevin potentially lose this ultra-popular, super-talented blue-liner in two years?
We’ll see. But for now it’s just great to think we’ll once again be seeing Subban racing around the Bell Centre ice.
“He wants very much to be part of the Montreal Canadiens, not just now but in the future,” Meehan said on TVA Sports and I’m certainly hoping this isn’t just agent-speak.
So is it gonna be Markov and Subban together on the power play? Man that could be a thing of beauty.