P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens have completed an arbitration hearing that reportedly started at 9 a.m.
It isn’t the result that many Canadiens fans wanted to wake up to on the first morning of August, but here we are. After failing to reach an agreement before the deadline, an arbitrator will hear from both sides and then reach a decision within 48 hours.
The arbitrator can pick any number between the two numbers submitted by Subban’s team ($8.5 million) and the Canadiens ($5.25 million) on a one year contract. While the arbitrator is making his decision, the team and Subban are still able to negotiate an agreement.
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The one-year term as selected by Montreal means that at the very least the two sides will be in this same situation a year from now. Subban would be a restricted free-agent and the Canadiens would hold on to his rights.
There are a lot of people who think that the Canadiens blew this two years ago when they signed a two-year bridge contract instead of a longer contract. However, it would have seriously hampered what they could have done with their roster with a smaller cap the last two seasons.
Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators went to arbitration, and the next year Weber signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers that was matched by Nashville. So this is by no means the end of Subban and the Canadiens long-term.
One thing that is a possibility as well: Maybe P.K. Subban wants a one-year deal this time, and next year after the cap presumably goes up significantly again, can ask for an even bigger contract in a long-term deal.
We will keep updating this as more details emerge from the hearing. We will keep you updated should an agreement be reached as well. The fact that these hearings are behind closed doors is probably for the best as it’s not easy to imagine what is being said.