Superstar PK Subban The New Face of Hockey in Montreal

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PK Subban

It was a summer of high anxiety for Montreal Canadiens fans.

As the summer passed, contract negotiations stalled between the Canadiens and PK Subban, their 25 year-old star defenseman who was coming off a career year and standout playoff performance.

Subban’s two-year contract, signed at the start of the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season and paying him an average of $2.875 million per season, expired on July 1 and it was no secret the Toronto native was looking to become one of the highest paid players in the NHL.

But with no breakthrough in talks with Habs’ general manager Marc Bergevin, the negotiations were replaced by a salary arbitration hearing, which would impose a contract and keep Subban in the bleu, blanc et rouge for at least one more year until he could test his value on the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

Hockey fans in Montreal held their collective breath. NHL salary arbitration is a notoriously adversarial process known for destroying relationships between players and team management. Would Bergevin’s presentation of Subban’s shortcomings on the ice end any chance of the sweet-skating rearguard’s signing a long term deal in Montreal?Before the arbiter could announce her ruling, the fans got their answer, with the Habs signing PK to an eight-year $72 million contract, making him the highest paid player in the 105-year history of hockey’s most storied franchise.

Subban was born and raised in Toronto, the oldest son of Jamaican immigrants. His father, Karl, embraced Canada’s game upon his arrival as a young boy in the Northern Ontario mining town of Sudbury, where he became an avid Montreal Canadiens fan while his parents struggled to earn the money to buy him hockey equipment.

Inspired by his youthful experience, Karl Subban, today a 55 year-old retired high school vice-principal, got his three young sons into hockey at an early age. PK reportedly started skating before the age of three, and was participating in daily skating workouts by the time he was six years old.

The hard work and commitment paid off when PK was selected in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft, 43rd overall, by Karl’s boyhood heroes.

Since joining the Tricolore on a full-time basis in 2010, PK has wowed loyal fans with his spectacular playmaking, winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2013 and earning a coveted spot on Team Canada, which won hockey gold at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Subban is earning his rich contract with strong start this season, highlighted by a recent spectacular performance against the rival Colorado Avalanche, scoring a pair of goals which will likely appear on highlight reels for months to come. His continued strong play has also fueled the Canadiens’ improved  Stanley Cup futures betting odds at bettingsports.com.

Not surprisingly, PK may soon be joined in the NHL ranks by his two younger brothers.

Jordan Subban, also a defenseman, was drafted as an 18 year-old by the Vancouver Canucks in 2013, and continues his junior hockey development with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.

Much to the dismay of Canadiens fans, goaltender Malcolm Subban was a first-round selection of the hated Boston Bruins in 2012. Malcolm has shown exceptional upside during his short time with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s minor league farm team, raising the possibility that a pair of young Toronto boys with Jamaican roots may one day take center stage on opposing sides of one of hockey’s fiercest rivalries.

 

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