Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he’s delighted to see that P.K. Subban is back in the fold but added he can’t set a timetable for the defenceman’s return to the lineup.
Therrien said he and general manager Marc Bergevin will meet with Subban when the team arrives in Ottawa following Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets to discuss the team philosophy and Subban’s role with the team. Therrien said he wouldn’t commit to a return date for Subban until he can assess the player’s physical conditioning, his timing and his grasp of the team’s new system.
Therrien stressed the importance of the team concept and said it was important for Subban, who signed a two-year, $5.75-million deal Monday, to embrace that concept.
Andrei Markov, whose performance was praised by Subban in a conference call Monday night, refused to comment on the signing after Tuesday’s morning skate in Brossard.
“Do you see him here?” Markov asked. “I’m only talking about tonight’s game and tomorrow night’s game.”
Subban’s former defence partner, Josh Gorges, was cautious when asked about Subban’s return and said it was important for all the players to buy into the system.
Said Gorges: “I’m tired of talking about one guy. I’m glad it’s over.”
When someone suggested to Lars Eller that P.K. wanted to be known as The Subbanator, the Danish forward replied: “We’re going to call him Pernell.”
There will be one lineup change for Tuesday night’s game against the Jets with Tomas Kaberle returning to the lineup, replacing Yannick Weber on defence.