His contract negotiations were some of the more tumultuous over the past couple of seasons, as there was quite a bit of doubt as to whether or not P.K. Subban would actually be back in a Montreal Canadiens sweater heading into the 2012-2013 season.
But he was, settling for a two-year contract that made Marc Bergevin look like a genius. It was a short-term deal for a player that still needed to truly prove himself, with a cap hit under $3 million. It was seen as a favorable deal at the time, and ended up being a fantastic bargain for the Habs.
Subban had a fantastic year in 2013. It was a true breakout season for him, as he finished with 38 points, which led all blue liners. Despite the shortened season, he was able to tie his career high for points, meaning that he would have blown away his career marks in a full season.
Of his 38 points on the season, 27 came with the Habs on the man advantage, as Subban proved to be a force on the power play. He played well in all three zones, finishing the year with a Corsi rating of 122. He also played with an edge at times, as well as with that flash that has made him such a popular player in his time in the league.
The performance came with that showmanship, as Subban clearly established himself among the league’s elite. His performance during the 2013 season should mean a Norris Trophy win, but he’s up against some stiff competition. If he does, it could be time for him to cash in with the Canadiens.
In July, it will be one year until Subban is set to become a free agent. He’ll be a restricted free agent once again, following the 2013-2014 season. Meaning that we could have another contract squabble on our hands. Of course, each side could eliminate those distractions much earlier.
The Habs should absolutely consider signing Subban to a long-term contract extension this summer. He proved his value to this franchise and showed that he’s a true building block. If he has a full season similar to the one he just had, it could prove tough for the Habs to agree on a decent term and number.
July is the time to strike on a new deal and get it out of the way. Will Marc Bergevin follow up a season in which he’s a GM of the Year finalist by locking up a franchise cornerstone? We’ll see.