Audio: Habs sign Subban to two-year deal

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Full Subban/Bergevin conference call (one minute or so of CTV interrupts call at about 14 minutes)

The Canadiens have signed defenceman P.K. Subban to a two-year deal putting to an end the contract saga that has hovered over the start of the team’s season. The team made the announcement Monday evening.

 The first year of the deal is worth $2 million but will be prorated for the lockout-shortened season. Subban will collect $3.75 million for the 2013-14 season.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and Subban spoke to the media at 8 p.m. Monday on a conference call.

Negotiations between the team and Subban’s agent Don Meehan started last May and resumed once the National Hockey League lockout ended but hit a stalemate.

A subdued Subban praised Bergevin Monday night for his professionalism and said the general manager’s consistency led to a resolution of the dispute. He complimented his teammates on their strong start to the season and said he was anxious to get on the ice with a great player like Andrei Markov.

“I watched all the games on TV and to say it was dfifficult would be an understatement,” Subban said from his home in Toronto.

Subban said it was particularly tough on opening night when Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Henri Richard, Serge Savard and Jean Béliveau participated in the opening ceremony. He said it served as a reminder that the Canadiens are a family and he wanted to be part of it.

“I grew up as a Canadiens fans and you all know my father is a great fan and I’m anxious to get back on the ice with my teammates,” Subban said.

“I’m always ready to play,” added Subban, whose return to the lineup is in the hands of head coach Michel Therrien.

Said Therrien at Tuesday’s morning skate in Brossard: “I’m going to meet with P.K. tomorrow and talk with him then. We’re not sure yet exactly when he’ll play.”

Subban will join his teammates Wednesday in Ottawa and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s in uniform this weekend when the Canadiens play their annual Super Bowl weekend matinees Saturday against Buffalo and Sunday against Ottawa.

Subban, 23, led the Habs in ice time last season, averaging 24:18 per game. He also had the most points – 36 – of any Canadiens defencemen last season.

The Habs face the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN 690 Radio).

At Tuesday’s morning skate the lines were set up like this: Eller-Desharnais-Cole; Prust-Galchenyuk-Gallagher; Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta; Moen-White-Armstrong (Blunden out). The defence pairings were: Markov-Emelin; Gorges-Diaz; Kaberle-Bouillon. Weber will be a healthy scratch and Price will start in goal.

Subban signs two-year deal with Habs, by Pat Hickey

Kids staying “because they deserve it”, by Pat Hickey

Backup Budaj says he’s ready, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens tickets are still available, by Brenda Branswell

Photo gallery from Habs practice Monday

Bergevin passes first test, by Mark Spector of Sportsnet

Jets head to Montreal, where new test awaits, by Winnipeg Free Press

Jets have liftoff in early going, by The Canadian Press

910 Comments

  1. habstrinifan says:

    Take a look at a young Subban… courtesy HIO clips.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1OZarRFtjCU

  2. CynicalHabsfan says:

    Okay. I know a lot of you feel differently, but I don’t think PK is really being underpaid. He’s a solid dman, oozing with potential and one of the most exciting players in the league, but let’s be honest, he’s not exactly a finished product and there are still a few wrinkles in his game he needs to iron out.
    For starters, he led the league in minor penalties (not pim, which includes fighting majors, but minors, which give the other team pps). He had 47 minors last year. Eller was second on the team with 27. Did you get the feeling last year that we were constantly killing penalties? A lot of that was Subban.
    He also ranked among the top defencemen with 200+ shots on goal. That’s not necessarily bad, but everyone close to him in sog had more than 7 goals. I feel like he also missed the net A TON, but there’s no stat to back that up.
    Anybody talking about character or calling him a cancer probably tapes coaches corner every week. I’ve never heard anyone associated with the habs say anything bad about PK, and the fact that opponents hate him only makes me like him more. It takes defencemen longer to develop; Markov wasn’t a star right away, neither were Pronger or Lidstrom. PK has the potential to be that guy, but he’s not there yet. Based on his performance over the past two years, and considering the fact that he’s an rfa, this deal is completely reasonable.

  3. HardHabits says:

    I figure a team needs to play at a 6-3-1 pace to make the play-offs, somewhere around 58 points to get in, in this shortened season. It’s still early in the campaign and the Habs have looked pretty good in the 4 games they’ve played, the unquestionable MVP being Markov, however the team is still playing like a team.

    I would have never expected the Habs to make the play-offs after last year’s debacle and that is one of the benefits of the Habs Tanking™ last season, in that the expectations haven’t necessarily been lowered but have been altered. Unlike in Toronto where they still think they can put together a winning team over-night, with a few trades and/or signings over the summer. Building a contender takes time. In fact, the pieces have been accumulating for the Habs over the years. Last years #3 pick was just icing on the cake to Timmins’ stellar work over the years.

    The good news is that the new management doesn’t seem hell bent on doing it all now at any cost so we wont likely ever see a McDonagh for Gomez trade ever again.

    With the lowered, I mean altered, expectations the pressure is off the team so to speak, like a weighted albatross. Now the team can go out there and play their game, the game the Therrien is teaching them, and see the results on a shift by shift basis.

    I am content with the knowledge that the Habs are intent on being a difficult opponent to play against but also seeing that they are a team interested in making things happen out there, and are no longer just hoping that things won’t happen to them, that if they collapse into a tight enough shell, maybe they can eke out a tie or a 1 goal win.

    Nope. These Habs look like they are learning what a killer instinct is all about.

    • JF says:

      Great post, HH. I completely agree, particularly with your point about the pressure being off and expectations being altered. Each year the Habs are expected to make the playoffs, the idea being that anything can then happen. The new management team no longer has that expectation or that idea. Instead they are trying to build the Habs into a contender. They have a long-term plan, and they’re sticking to it. The team can just play and focus on getting better, while the fans can enjoy the victories and watching the team play as a team. If we make the playoffs, it’s almost a bonus this year; if we don’t, we’re still on the right path.

      BTW, I think the people in Toronto are finally realizing that you can’t build a contender in a year. From Nonis’s moves so far, I think he’s going to be patient and go about it the right way.

    • krob1000 says:

      That is a little steep….that pace should get you first or second place! That is on pace for106.6 points over an 82 game schedule. 92-95 points is usually enough ..so 56 points should do it in a 48 games schedule.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Just listened to Don Meehan. Anyone else got the sense that on Monday. P.K said, “to hell with it.. I just wanna play hockey and told Meehan to work it out and essentially Meehan extracted from Bergevin a solid promise to re-negotiate sooner than later if P.K proves to be as good as player’ as most think he can be… which includes all aspects of his PERSONALITY.

  5. HammerHab says:

    Next year’s lineup based on who is signed looks pretty good if ya ask me….

    Pacioretty- Plekanec – Cole
    Bourque – Eller – Gionta
    Gallagher – Galchenyuk – ?
    ? – Prust – Moen

    Markov – Emelin
    PK – Gorges
    Diaz – ?
    Kaberle

    Price
    Who cares

    I don’t think Tinordi will be ready but add a bruising crease clearing blueliner beside Diaz and our defense looks very good. Hopefully LeBlanc or Kristo can step it up and play on the kid line, and heck, maybe even sign Armdog again to play on the 4th. The big question is DD…..IMO there’s no room for him and Eller. One of them will be traded or they’ll just not resign DD IMO.

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  6. habfan53 says:

    OK so I tune in the sports news and hear Montreals G.M. refer to players by their nicknames then they show a 20 year olds first goal and his coach patting him on his back.
    Who are these guys ?? That is not the way my team treats its players. Is it ?

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

  7. krob1000 says:

    Just because I feel like stirring the pot LOL…can you imagine what PK’s trade value is with that new deal and 2 years at that cap hit? (I am now running into the far corner of the world to hide lol)

  8. habstrinifan says:

    My concentration tonight will be on three players:

    Armstrong: I am disappointed in his ‘talent’ level.

    Bourque: Needs to be more a factor in scoring chances.

    Gallagher: Expect a big game from him.

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      In fairness to Armstrong, he’s a fourth-liner…don’t need too much from him offensively. He’s responsible, kills penalties, is cheap and can grind on the boards. Not much more to ask of him, I don’t think.

      I’m liking Bourque’s play so far, but yes agree that it’s time for him to start cashing in. The Jets play more his style, so hopefully that helps!

    • bwoar says:

      Rene Bourque had about 5 chances to score vs. the Devils. He’s been a big factor on his line. So much so that he was on during the OT.

      For Armstrong, well, I expected very little; getting not much more than that.

      I’d like to see DD & Cole join the rest of the team at the big boy table tonight. They were better on Sunday, maybe tonight is the night for them.

      “thoroughbred”

  9. ont fan says:

    Don Meehan coming on Sportsnet and Fan 590 at noon.

  10. shiram says:

    Any news on Mathieu Darche? He was a tryout for the Devils, but I don’t think they offered him a contract?

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay way early in a season which i fully expected (and still could be) to be nothing but a rebuilding year with team building and player assessment being the priority, but the vibes coming off this team right now are off the hook. (trying to sound much younger than I am).

    Got a few fellow Habs buddies coming over to watch the game tonight, beers are chilling already. Now to just convince the entire family back home in the Peg not to phone my house after every Jet goal, (even if it is just one call…..)

  12. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    all thats left to do is move kaberles deal and MB had done a perfect job with the lineup.

  13. krob1000 says:

    There is a lot of character and heart in that Montreal locker room….the attitude appears different, the urgency i their play seems different, the intensity and optimism, everything seems different. This is how it shoulod be with a new coach, new Gm,new palyers,etc…they have started off on the right foot and are trying to change the culture again and have made some very good moves over their short tenure.

    As for PK…this culture change may be the best thing that ever happened for him….and for the up and coming young talent on Montreal…they have character and team guys all around them.

  14. Sportfan says:

    So with PK back that means Weber is out of the job and possibly Kaberle? Think we’ll be able to trade Weber?

    check out the new blog I posted guys its related to the madden curse! Enjoy :D
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Ghosts of the Forum says:

      I’ve been wondering that same thing. I imagine there are teams that’d take him, but I doubt we’d get much more than an equally fringe player, or maybe a late round pick. That said, a fourth-rounder or something could turn into a surprise, and I think at this point we know that Weber isn’t going to be a part of this team…so why not?

      • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

        thing is weber is more tied up as a rfa, diaz will be a ufa after next season. so depending on what a team need either now or long term, both have some trade value. the hard part will be two shed kaberles 4.5.

  15. Habfun says:

    Remember you heard it here. The kids and the team are playing well, PK is back and ready to play, Pac is out but will be back in a few weeks and he will be itcin to play also and just at the right time. Me thinks we will do very well in the next few weeks and when Pac is back and we have all of our players we can look forward to a few rounds of playoff.
    I believe we can do a lot of damage and you never know where it is going to take us!!

    It\\\’s all about the CH

  16. Say Ash says:

    So PP has Markov/Diaz and then Kaberle/Subban?

  17. Ian Cobb says:

    Keep Kaberle, he led our team in power play points last year!

  18. Mattyleg says:

    Kabby in and Weber out tonight, tweets Renaud Lavoie.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. Mattyleg says:

    Haha!
    New Plekanec Twitter account (@Plek14) is NOT HIM!
    The real deal just texted Stubbs to tell him.
    D’oh. Fooled teammates and tweeters alike!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  20. L Elle says:

    Re Therrien and L’Antichambre

    I can’t say I watched every episode but what I did observe is that MT never criticized a player , but rather critiqued his play. While the others were all on the fire JM and PG wagon, MT would say he knew how painful that situation was, and refrained from any comment.

    There was a game early last season, where PK appeared to be about to block a shot, but at the last minute lifted his foot, resulting in him screening Price, and the puck going in. Therrien called it the flamingo. He went on to say when he first started with the Penguins, this was customary among the youngsters, and had to be addressed, resulting in a much better team. There were several posters on the live blog that noticed this as well. I don’t see a problem with this type of comment. I believe MT was the most impartial and gentlemanly of the bunch, and this is when I began to like MT, and was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when hired. But I did find him long-winded. eesh (like my post)

    I don’t remember an instance where he raked PK over the coals for just being PK.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thanks for your insights L, good to hear.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I remember the game well. Happened on the ice just as you explained. Can’t say I can state with absolute confidence in my interpretation skills MT’s analysis.. but from what I understood and from his most recent comments I thought he veered too close to a ‘personal’ condemnation.

      May i add here though that I listened to P.K last night. And his pointed references to Markov etc, some of the things he said kinda tell me that MB had a good chat with P.K and (I am guessing in the presence of his MOM/DAD) and made P.K aware of certain behaviour patterns which detract from the apparently sound young man he is. I also followed MB’s words very closely and the recent remarks of Markov and of Therrien. I am thinking that there have been some really good clearing of the air among everyone. I like how P.K will have to practise before he plays etc etc…

      As I posted a few days ago I am beginning to believe .. in Therrien. For the HABS sake I hope I am right. Man it’s time our team start being a well managed group with strong leadership which would eliminate the problems which obviously festered under JM etc.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Perhaps the meeting we spoke of a few days ago occurred Trin, would be great to hear that Mr. Beliveau sat in on it for awhile also. I realize I am stretching it with that, but point being, MB wants a tight unified ship and I believe he wants everyone to buy into that including the coach.

      • L Elle says:

        I feel really good about this team, for the first time since ’09. Even then, I didn’t feel this optimistic, even though I believe our team will make the playoffs every season.

        Pk is very talented, and sitting out, while watching the team have fun (his words), I believe he is now probably 10 steps closer to becoming an elite D.

        I’m not sure what recent comments you’re referring to Trini. There has been a lot of false stuff being repeated like the game broken telephone. I must’ve missed it.


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