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NHL Boston BruinsMontreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens Must Pay Any Price To Retain P.K. Subban

PK Subban

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The longer Game 1 went, the more obvious it became. The amount that the Montreal Canadiens will be relying on Carey Price and P.K. Subban in an attempt to get past the Boston Bruins in this Eastern Conference semifinal matchup is large. Like Zdeno Chara in a toy house large.

The Canadiens walked into TD Garden and stole Game 1 from the Bruins, winning 4-3 in double overtime. Price faced 18 more shots than his opposite, Tuukka Rask, managing to stop 48 of Boston’s 51 attempts. As for the offense, defenseman Subban was there to answer the call for Michel Therrien‘s team. Subban scored the first goal and the game-winner. He was on the ice for Rene Bourque‘s goal and assisted on Francis Bouillon‘s third period tally.

On the plus side for Les Habitants, Carey Price is signed to a long-term contract through the 2017-18 season. Subban, however, will enter restricted free agency this summer. It is absolutely vital that the Canadiens sign him to a long-term deal.

What kind of contract will Subban be expecting?

There are a couple of factors to consider before randomly throwing out numbers, be it years or dollars. On the years side of things, thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the maximum amount of years Subban can sign for is eight, assuming he signs with Montreal. If he chooses to sign an offer sheet elsewhere, the most another team can offer him is seven years. Being a restricted free agent, Montreal would have the chance to match any outside offer. On the money side of things, salary variance cannot exceed 35 percent from one year to another. There also cannot be a 50 percent total difference between any two seasons in the contract. Gone are the days of the front-loaded, exuberant-years contract. In short, he will not be getting a Shea Weber-ish 14-year $110 million contract.

For comparison’s sake, Drew Doughty is a similar player and has a contract that is in the ballpark of what Subban can be looking for. Both Subban and Doughty are 24 years of age. Both were on Canada’s gold medal Sochi 2014 winning team and Doughty also won gold in Vancouver 2010. While Doughty has been a Norris Trophy finalist, an award recognizing the NHL‘s top defenceman, Subban won the award in 2013. Doughty signed an eight-year $56 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings to begin the 2011-12 season.

If you’re Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, you hope inflation hasn’t raised Subban’s number much higher than that. Regardless of the price though, Subban is priority No. 1 this summer for the Canadiens.

Get in line Andrei Markov and Thomas Vanek.

Jamey Holt is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @sportsthinktank or add him to your network on Google