After low-balling P.K. Subban on his last contract and then trying to let an arbitrator decide his next one, the Montreal Canadiens finally smartened up and locked up the Norris Trophy winner to a massive, eight-year extension, ensuring that the former Belleville Bull will be plying his trade in Montreal through the 2022 season.
While Subban didn’t come cheap (earliest reports are the deal is worth about $9 million per year for a total of around $72 million), he is worth every single penny. Not too many defensemen bring his offensive acumen and excitement seemingly every time he touches the ice and few players in the NHL bring the charisma that Subban does every night. Having such a great ambassador for the league and game is something that transcends on-the-ice productivity and helps the Habs from a business standpoint.
Also, if the Habs were dumb enough to let Subban get away when he could hit the open market at the earliest in 2016, replacing him would be borderline impossible. The team drafted Subban in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft and developed him into a Norris Trophy-winning superstar. Finding a replacement for him is a whole lot harder than shelling out the money to keep him.
The salary cap is going up significantly in the next few years, meaning for as much money as it’s worth, Subban’s deal could very well become a bargain before long. At just 25 years old, Subban’s best days are ahead of him and will be in the Norris Trophy conversation for a long time. Like all good investments, this will pay off over time and the Canadiens surely hope that payoff includes adding a 23rd Stanley Cup banner to the Bell Centre.