Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and Don Meehan, the agent for P.K. Subban, met Thursday in Philadelphia on the eve of the NHL draft to talk about a new contract for the restricted free-agent defenceman.
Subban told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs that he’s not worried about the talks, leaving that job to his agent.
“Obviously, everybody wants a long-term deal, in a place where they like to play,” Subban told Stubbs Wednesday during a call from the Las Vegas airport, about to return home to Toronto from the annual NHL awards.
He called again the following morning to continue the discussion that a call to board his flight cut short.
“But there’s a lot of different things to consider in a contract negotiation,” Subban said. “There’s stability for the family. There’s what’s in the best interests of the player and in the best interests of the team, for the organization moving forward. And, obviously, proper compensation. A lot of different things.”
Subban added: “The next few days, probably the next week or so, are pretty important. Whether we want the public to know or not, they’re going to find out a lot over the next couple of weeks. Time will tell. I’ve been patient and you’re better off when you are.”
Subban has entrusted the talks to Meehan.
“I’m happy I can let Donnie handle that stuff,” he told Stubbs. “I’m a hockey player, that’s what I do. Do I think I’m smart enough to understand contracts and how they work? I might be, but I don’t think I need to be doing that at this point in time. I need to be just focusing on playing hockey. That’s all I need to do.”
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien met with the media in Philadelphia Friday before the start of the draft and said he still hadn’t got over losing to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final.
“We’re pleased with the way we played, but it’s still disappointing to know that we were two games away from the Stanley Cup final,” Therrien said.
“Our goal next season will be make the playoffs and that depends on a lot of factors,” Therrien added. “You have to avoid injuries. Last year, our depth came through for us and we had players step up at the right time.”
Therrien took some time off in Florida before joining the Canadiens at the draft and was asked about assistant Gerard Gallant leaving the Canadiens to become head coach of the Florida Panthers.
“I had mixed feelings when I heard the news,” Therrien said. “I’m happy to see Gerard get a chance to be a head coach in the NHL, but we’ll miss him because he did a good job for us.”
Therrien and Bergevin have begun looking through the list of possible replacements. Therrien said there are some good candidates and that the organization will start by looking within.
You can listen to the entire interview with Therrien by clicking here.
Former Canadien Patrick Roy, who won the Jack Adams Award as the top coach during his rookie season behind an NHL bench with the Colorado Avalanche, also spoke with the media Friday before the draft. Listen to what he had to say by clicking here.