With the offseason in full swing in Smashville, the rumor mill is cranking up… and at the center of all these rumors? None other than P.K. Subban. I get it, he always draws the attention of the Canadian hockey media, he is a lightning rod for this type of speculation… the rumors show him going to every potential hockey team in the world, including the Saskatchewan Jr. Puddle Jumpers of the Saskatoon Rec League… and I am trying to make sense of why. So let’s look at some reasons being bandied about for trading him… and reasons not to.
- Reason? Money! - PK Subban has a $9 million dollar cap hit for the next three seasons. Actual pay is $10 million this season and $8 million for the next two before he becomes a UFA. That money could be used to pick up a sniper on the UFA market like Panarin or Duchene.
- Reason? Money! – Subban sells… he is a personality that drives sales of tickets, t-shirts, jerseys, hats, etc. I’ve seen more Habs jerseys in the house since Subban’s arrival… Montreal fans come out in droves to see him play. Is it enough to cover his salary… maybe not… but it does have an impact.
- Reason? It’s all about him – This one kills me… for a so-called “non-traditional market” Nashville is taking on a real “traditional” feel. This is the old school thought process that has held this sport back with the public. The NHL needs more of this type of personality… not less. Subban is a personality and is not afraid to show it and be it… and good for him for being him.
- Reason? Community Impact – Subban has made himself a part of Nashville, his community work is outstanding. When other athletes were protesting, he came up with a way to draw communities together with his Blueline Buddies program. He has fit in with the franchise’s community outreach like a glove.
- Reason? He had a terrible 18/19 – Hmmm… from a scoring perspective his PPG was about the same as his first season with the Preds (another season where he battled injury) … The season he was fully healthy? He was at a .71 ppg vs .49 and .45. Giveaways are on par with the rest of the blueline. The occasional inappropriate pinch, yes… but
- In a season that had him playing injured for a large portion of the season, Subban seemed to get healthier as the second half of the season progressed and he was, without question, the best defenseman on the ice for the Predators in their first round series with Dallas. His playoff performances have always outshone his regular season… this team needs more of that.
I could keep going and going… but the biggest one I see regards the cap… that it is necessary to clear cap space… I am not sure that is really a concern. The cap is estimated to be about $83 million next season. As the Preds stand right now, they are a little under $75 million against that. They have two RFA’s in Colton Sissons and Rocco Grimaldi that they need to sign, figure $3 million against the cap for them. They also may want to keep Brian Boyle, figure another $2 million.
That leaves nothing to get the impact free agent that folks are screaming for, which I suppose is the reason so many are screaming about this. The cap situation in 2020/21 is fine… even with big money going to Roman Josi… so that isn’t a concern… I am not sure that dumping a Norris trophy winning defenseman with a penchant for playing better in the playoffs is the right way to manage a one-year cap issue.
Trading Subban doesn’t make sense to me, with the following caveat… if it is a Herschel Walker – type deal…ok… but given that probably won’t happen… I just can’t see trading P.K. Subban.
The Playoff Status
The Eastern Conference
(2) Boston vs. (WC2) Columbus – Series tied 1-1 – Game 3 – Tonight – 6pm - NBCSN
(2) NY Islanders vs. (WC1) Carolina – CAR leads 2-0 – Game 3 – Tomorrow - 6pm - NBCSN
The Western Conference
(2) San Jose vs. (WC2) Colorado – Series tied 1-1 – Game 3 – Tonight - 9pm - NBCSN
(3) St. Louis vs. (WC1) Dallas – STL leads 2-1 – Game 4 - Tomorrow – 8:30pm – NBCSN
- Milwaukee Update – The Admirals, after a valiant comeback attempt, fell short in their series with Iowa, dropping a 2-1 decision in game 5 last night, ending their playoff run.
- Credit where it’s due – The Nashville Predators took full advantage of the NFL Draft last week, scheduling their end of season pressers on the day before the draft began and before the player meetings… unusual…
- Worlds – Kyle Turris and Dante Fabbro will be representing Canada at the Worlds.
- Home Ice? – Of the 55 games in the Stanley Cup playoff so far… Home teams have won 28, road teams have won 27…
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