Each NHL Team’s Biggest Character: Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban
Pernell Karl (P.K.) Subban of the Montreal Canadiens was an easy choice for their biggest character. The native Canadian was selected 43rd overall in the 2007 NHL entry draft. Subban made a big splash in the AHL playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs (The Canadiens minor league affiliate) his first year there his first year there. He was voted onto the AHL’s all-rookie team and even won the President’s Trophy (award given to the player with the most outstanding accomplishments that season). When the Canadiens made it into the playoffs in 2010 they called up their best minor league players for reserves during the playoffs and where Subban made a name for himself. In his first NHL playoff game Subban recorded an assist, not too shabby considering they were playing the number one seed in the NHL. The 8th seed Canadiens managed to defeat the 1st seed Capitals as well as the 4th seed Penguins next round but lost to Philly in the Conference Finals. Over these 14 games he recorded 8 points and became the third rookie defenceman in Canadiens’ history to register three assists in one game. Not spectacular but exactly what you need to guarantee yourself a starting spot on the squad next year. Indeed Subban managed to secure a full time spot in the Habs (nickname for the Canadiens) lineup as well as spot in the eyes of Canadiens and hockey fans alike. PK’s style of play is aggressive to say the least and as a rookie he wanted people to know he meant business from the get-go. He managed to throw some sauce, light the lamp a decent amount, and create a highlight reel of bone-shattering hits that the fans love to see. Subban’s style of play is good, but, if he manages to refine his style an continue to grow as a player he has the potential to be one of the elite defensemen in the league. But talent and potential weren’t what caught everyone’s attention, it was his “don’t take shit from anyone” mentality and attitude that made people tune in. Subban has been labeled as cocky, disrespectful, arrogant, reckless and dangerous by those who have played against him. He came in and showed zero respect for those he played against. He would antagonize and trash talk anyone including his own teammates (Tomas Pleckanec in January), but I have to admit I loved watching him get under Crosby’s skin. He is a young guy who doesn’t show much respect for his elders and a lot of people take offense to that. His biggest gripe against him is being way too cocky but PK doesn’t seem to mind, he says that people are just confusing confidence with cockiness. Whether you like him or hate him, you can’t deny that his personality brings an extra element to the game which makes his matchups that much better to watch. But that’s not to say that he’s a bad guy, he brings a ton of positive energy to his team and his teammates love having him because he’s a fun guy. During the most recent all-star game he gave to fans in Raleigh, North Carolina a good laugh when he chose to take the ice for the shootout competition wearing hometown favorite Jeff Skinner’s jersey and giving the crowd a good laugh.. You can also see P.K.’s lighthearted side with his relationship with teammate and Canadiens’ goalie Carey Price. After wins Price and Subban will display what they call the “triple-low five” shown here
All in all Subban is an extremely fun player to watch if you like him, and extremely aggravating if you don’t. P.K. is still young and he needs to channel his skill and physicality to a more well-rounded style of play. If he can manage to do that, we might have a hall-of-famer on our hands in P.K. Subban.