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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 $2.875 million.
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."
- Official Press Release
- Discuss the signing on the HW Forums