PK Subban and the $72M contractAugust 3, 2014, by
Montreal Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin made PK Subban the third richest player n the National Hockey League yesterday, locking the defenseman down for 8 years at $72 million dollars or, for those mathematically challenged, $9M a year. This comes after the 25 year old Norris Trophy winner of the lockout-shortened 2013 season made only $3.75M last year. The deal was the first to go to arbitration since 2011, despite being settled independently after the first hearing.
With the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signings being significant, it’s important to take a look at the Subban signing as well. He’ll likely be their next captain, as former captan Brian Gionta left for Buffalo during this offseason, and Subban is viewed to be an enormous talent who is outspoken, to say the least. The defense in light of such figures is that with the Canadian TV deal signed last year should raise the cap enough that, towards the end of this deal, Subban will be a steal. But is this logical?
With the losses endured by Montreal (Gionta, Thomas Vanek, Daniel Briere), it was imperative that they come to a deal with Subban. In my ever-so-humble opinion, though, the eight year deal at such a high price is very worrysome. You can depend on the cap to rise, and I fully expect it to, but next offseason will be a rough few weeks for Bergevin. Forwards Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk will be (restricted) free agents come next summer, and short of horrendous seasons, both will demand significant pay raises from their current sub-million dollar deals.
This signing brings a lot of light and perspective to other situations. My favorite ever Habs-Rangers connection (yes, even more than the Rangers knocking Montreal out of the playoffs last year) is our number one defenseman, a Canadiens prospect, Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh has never won a Norris, but he did play for the U.S. National Team, something that was a crap shoot for Subban, and McDonagh is undoubtedly on his way to Ranger greatness. McDonagh also makes $4.7M/year through 2019-20 (let that sink in for a second. It’s so glorious). Perspective is a hell of a thing, huh?
Furthermore, this brings to light how roughly half of the fanbase felt after Derick Brassard signed last Sunday. After everybody was in a tizzy over the figures (I’m probably paraphrasing here, but “oh my god $5M that is soooo much money but damn it Sather why aren’t you signing anybody!!!”), seeing not one but three players get astronomical payouts this offseason should put you at ease. It looks as though $5M is a great payout for a center who had comparable stats (45 points vs. Subban’s 53) and edged out the 9 million dollar man in power play points, despite Subban being the first power play point.
I know what you’re thinking: Brassard is a center, Subban is a defenseman, and you’re comparing apples and oranges. Based solely on position, yes, you’re right. However, even Montreal fans must admit that Subban’s defensive play is average at the very best. The reason that Subban was often overlooked throughout the Olympics is due to his defensive inability. He plays a great offense, but when you’re going against players like Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, it’s truly difficult to make yourself irreplaceable when you don’t feel like playing the position you’re given.
Again, Montreal HAD to sign Subban, but for $9M/year I think we might be looking at buyout city in a few years."PK Subban and the $72M contract",