P.K. Subban didn’t have a repeat of his Norris Trophy-winning season, but he made strides in certain aspects of his game despite an up-and-down year.
STATS: 82 Games | 10 G-43 A = 53 P | 81 PIM | -4 | 49.9% Corsi | 9.3 Point Shares
PLAYOFFS: 17 games | 5 G-9 A = 14 P | 24 PIM | +1 | 48.5% Corsi
STORY: P.K. Subban had a very good season, even if it wasn’t his best. Basically, Subban proved everything he could but for some reason still has his fair share of critics.
You could argue that Subban tried to do too much, but a lot of that is because he was the only real puck-moving defenceman in the Canadiens lineup. Markov is good, too, but more for making passes than leading the breakout.
Until Nathan Beaulieu came in during the playoffs, if the Canadiens were training, they had better hope that Subban was on the ice.
Subban drew some ire for the fact he made the Olympic team and then sat on the bench and was sometimes sat down by Michel Therrien who decided he’d rather play Douglas Murray. Subban is the brunt of a double standard that some defencemen like Drew Doughty or Erik Karlsson are not subject to.
In the playoffs, Subban took his game to another level and played his best hockey of the year even though he was probably exhausted and hurting. His goal against Boston after coming out of the penalty box will live on as probably his shining moment.
Subban is an amazing player, and while I can’t give him an A+, he deserves all sorts of praise for how he played this year.
He may not have the awards to prove it, but Subban took a step forward in the playoffs where he became almost dominant. If the Canadiens can mould their style to their new puck moving defencemen, Subban can take the next step.
FUTURE: Subban is, as is well-known, a restricted free-agent. I have no problem giving him $9 million for 8 years or whatever the maximum is. The Canadiens will still try to negotiate with him, but there is no bad deal here.
Well, actually, there is a bad deal. One that doesn’t go the maximum length. The salary cap will surely go up, and so will the salary of top players. You have a top player, just pay him and move on.
Some will argue against the bridge contract but it did what it was supposed to do – it helped the Canadiens stay under the cap in the two years with a lower cap and it showed what kind of player P.K. is. Now you can give him the big contract without any hesitation.