The P.K. Subban signing saga has come to an end as the team announced Monday
night that the defenceman signed a two year contract with the team. The
Habs did not officially announce the financial numbers but Subban will earn $2
million (pro-rated) this season and $3.75 million in 2013-14 for a cap hit of
This was a well-publicized contract dispute as there were significant
differences in both term and dollars being offered by the Habs and sought by
Subban. Marc Bergevin was holding firm to a short-term ‘bridge’ deal while
Subban, as recently as last Friday, was believed to be seeking a minimum of a
five year term that would take him all the way through his RFA and arbitration
seasons. After reflecting on the situation, Subban opted to take the short term contract. As a result of the two year deal, Subban will remain an RFA at
its conclusion and will have arbitration rights. His qualifying offer at that time will be considerably higher than his cap hit, at $3.75 million.
Subban’s numbers slipped ever-so-slightly in 2011-12 but he still led all
Canadiens defencemen in all offensive categories with 7 goals and 29 assists
while also leading the team in penalty minutes with 119. Most important
though was his considerable improvement in the defensive zone. He was used
regularly with Josh Gorges as the pairing that most often was checking the
opponents’ top line and earned the trust of the coaching staff to be the most
used blueliner on the team.
The Habs have already ruled him out of Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg as he
won’t rejoin the team until Wednesday. Michel Therrien noted before the
season started that Subban will need at least a few days of practice so
realistically, the earliest that he will be available will be Saturday
afternoon. Fortunately, he was skating with Mississauga of the OHL the
past few weeks so he shouldn’t need too much time to get game ready.
The Habs and Subban held a conference call Monday night to discuss the
contract. This is what the blueliner had to say about his new deal:
"I’m extremely happy to be at this point now where the past is behind us
and I can look forward to being integrated to this team and helping them after
such a great start."