Even as the NHL lockout came to an end, there were still quite a few players without contracts, including a few notable young players with restricted free agents. Some of them, like P.K. Subban, failed to reach a deal with their respective clubs before the lockout began, and still have yet to do so.
The Montreal Canadiens appear nowhere close to a deal with Subban, despite the start to the season less than a week away. One would have to think that the two sides would come to an agreement before the season begins, since the Habs want Subban as a part of their future and he’d like to return.
The league saw another young, highly touted defenseman reach a contract agreement over the weekend when Michael Del Zotto re-signed with the New York Rangers. He signed for two years and $5 million. Given what he brings to the ice, that’s an absolute steal. We shouldn’t expect the same type of deal for Subban.
There are rumors floating around that Subban would like a deal similar to what Drew Doughty got, as far as the length. Which means he’s looking for a deal somewhere around eight years. A $56 million contract actually doesn’t sound like it’s too far out of the realm of possibility either, with what Subban brings to the ice.
P.K. Subban is a franchise cornerstone. He’s a building block for a team that is in rebuilding mode. He’s a big physical defenseman with plenty of offensive ability as well. If his first couple of years are any indication, he’s going to be a superstar for a long time in the National Hockey League. Which is why the Habs want to lock him up, obviously.
Locking him up to a Doughty type of deal could be in the best interest of the Canadiens. But they’re reportedly looking to sign him to a contract with a much shorter term. So which side will get their way? Will Subban reach an agreement to keep him in Montreal for a long time, or will the Habs sign him to a two or three-year deal?
My guess is that the two sides eventually settle somewhere in the middle, potentially four or five years. A dollar amount of $5 or $6 million per seems like it could be a decent estimate as well. No matter what happens with the P.K. Subban saga, both sides are likely hoping this comes to an end within the next couple of days.