Canadiens Making An Example Out Of Fun Loving PK Subban

By Harry Dole


P.K. Subban and Carey Price have been cited by Montreal Canadiens management for having too much fun. Marcus Foligno – USA TODAY SPORTS

There was no vile and offensive triple low-five celebration display between newly signed Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and goalie Carey Price after the Habs 6-1 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre Saturday afternoon.  The Habs have decided to clamp down on exuberance and individuality for fear it may lead to a full blown pandemic.  If these strong-armed measure does not work, can chip implants and bar codes be next for the players?

The Canadiens organization believes these sort of celebrations are disrespectful to fans and other players.  Yeah…probably as disrespectful as trading a player in between periods of a game.

Do you get the feeling the Canadiens are trying to make an example of Subban by first low-balling him on his contract offer, spinning the media against him and then singling him out and laying down the law?  Poor Subban, he must feel like a scolded adolescent who has an old-boned tyrannical parent on his back 24/7.  Many of us have been through those dark times.

The primary reason why the Habs are using Subban as an example and ‘hanging him out to dry’ is because there are several young talented players which the team would also love to underpay for the first four or five seasons, regardless of their production.  For the Habs, their shameless display of father knows best mentality is just as much about getting and keeping those young prospects in line, as it is about getting Subban in line.

Although the Montreal front office ended up winning this round (mostly because the team is mediocre and lacks depth to seriously contend), Subban may be holding the hammer next year when the two parties once again start drawing lines in the sand.  By accepting such a low salary (compared to other NHL D-men with equivalent production and ability), Subban knows the Habs have burned their one and only free coupon on him.

Who knows?  Maybe Subban is fed up with the organization and is already planning his escape after the next two seasons.  Can going to a team which is not particularly obsessed with low triple-fives…or triple low-fives…or whatever fun and harmless display of emotion players show…be all that bad?

Of course, the other reason why the Habs brass chiseled Subban on his deal is because they needed the extra cash to burn a year of the entry level contracts for both prospects Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, whom they decided to keep with the big club this season after energetic and promising starts.  Whatever coin was saved in the Subban deal, was obviously applied toward the rookies.

Subban, in his season debut against Buffalo played 18 minutes, had an assist and led the team with three hits; his performance was pretty much as bland as the game – which is to be expected and has been a common theme for most games this season.  The Canadiens defense managed to hold the Sabres to one shot in the first period, which probably had Price daydreaming about his final triple low-five just to stay awake.

Although the Canadiens are off to a solid start at 5-2-0, sitting through and watching these early games has become a tiresome challenge.  In all fairness, the team is still in pre-season mode and the performance on the ice is a lot sloppier than would usually be expected from a normal season.

After the lockout settlement, several teams had the business savvy to offer fans discounted ticket prices, knowing there would be much shoddy pre-season style play during the early part of this season.  One would think this is the type of respect fans are looking from for ownership (not having to pay full price for pre-season quality games).

Fossilized hockey analyst Don Cherry weighed in on the Habs war on the triple-low five and, as expected, backed the stodgy establishment.  As if the games have not been boring enough, now the generic team approved fan acknowledgment has to follow suit.

The Habs honchos need to loosen the collars and ties a bit and allow some blood to flow up to their brains.  Then they may realize hockey games are meant to entertain the kids, not put them to sleep.

Twitter: @HarrisDole

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