UPDATE – P.K Subban’s agent Don Meehan has indicated he will meet with Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin “sometime next week”. Meehan also told TVA Sports that Subban has not talked to any other team and is only interested in coming to an agreement with the Canadiens.
Who would have predicted back on May second when Marc Bergevin took over as Canadiens general manager that his biggest contract headache would be P.K. Subban? Not Carey Price….but P.K. Subban.
I don’t know how accurate the word “headache” is. After all Subban is coming off an entry level contract with two years in the NHL. The “qualifying offer” for Subban was something in the neighbourhood of 950 thousand dollars. Subban can accept that of course, but he’s obviously worth much more. His other options are arbitration but whatever is settled there is only good for one year and both sides will be back at the table again next summer. There’s also the possibility of an “offer sheet” from another team, but at this stage it seems unlikely.
Or both sides can opt for something long term which, by all indications is the route both Bergevin and Subban, along with his agent Don Meehan are trying to take.
And just how ‘long term? Some are promoting a five or six year deal, which would barely take Subban a year or two into qualification for unrestricted free agency. The upside of that kind of thinking is the long term discount the Canadiens would be looking for. His cap hit would probably be somewhere around five million.
Others suggest that Subban still has some things to prove and it would be better to give him something in the neighbourhood of two to three years and work on an extension when Subban’s game has matured. I’m part of that group. In the long run, if Subban’s learning curve continues at it’s present rate, he’s going to become very expensive, a burden the Canadiens would gladly absorb when the time comes. But from a business standpoint, it seems to be the best path for both sides.
Security of a long term deal but with a team discount, or the possibility of big money in only three years with the risk that there are injuries or a failure to reach elite status. That’s the crux of discussions taking place on both sides of the table.
Fans can be forgiven for being impatient, but serious negotiations started only two weeks ago.