Regardless of what kind of contract P.K. Subban signs in
the near future, it’s a given that he’ll suit up as Montreal’s top defenceman
this year. While these difficult contract negotiations emphasize that P.K. is among the league’s elite players, they also set expectations
quite high. It’s good that Subban seems unfazed by the attention he
receives, as fans and media alike will seek to scrutinize his play in light of
whatever contract he signs. After posting career-high totals in both the
regular season and playoffs, will Subban reach a new level of dominance and
establish himself as a superstar, or will he crumble under the pressure?
Although Subban failed to defend his James Norris
Memorial Trophy successfully, he still managed to set career highs in the
regular season, which culminated with an impressive playoff showing. His
53 points tied him for 5th among defencemen, and his 23 powerplay points ranked
him 24th out of all skaters in the NHL. Internally, P.K. was second only
to Max Pacioretty in points, and led the team in assists and powerplay points.
Despite an absence from a regular penalty-killing shift, Subban trailed only
Andrei Markov in ice-time by 38 seconds.
Season Stats: GP
82, G 10, A 43, PTS 53, +/- -4, PIM 81, PPG 4, PPP 23, SHP 0, GWG 1, SOG 204,
4 Year Averages
(Because of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, we are pro-rating all of
those numbers over a typical 82-game year.)
Subban is all but guaranteed the top minutes, now that
Andrei Markov is starting to lose a step in his declining years. The trade
of Josh Gorges left Subban without his usual even-strength partner, so look for
Alexei Emelin to move to his natural position and play alongside P.K. The
absence of Gorges and acquisition of Tom Gilbert may mean that P.K.’s special
teams time may be altered; he might pick up some of Gorges’ shorthanded minutes,
while Gilbert may take away some of P.K.’s powerplay time. As usual,
Subban will be counted on to play against the top opposition, and will be leaned
on heavily in the waning moments of close games.
Even with the acquisition of Gilbert, P.K. should still
see plenty of powerplay time, which means he retains much of his fantasy value.
Subban consistently puts up assists, powerplay points and shots on goal, and he
has the potential to contribute significantly in the goals and hits categories.
Nevertheless, Subban’s fantasy value isn’t as high as his actual value in
reality, so there are better options to take in the first round of your fantasy
draft (namely forwards). In multi-category leagues, Subban’s fantasy value
rises somewhat, and you could do worse than having P.K. as your number one