Over the last few months, certain issues within the NHL have become decidedly less important – in particular, contract negotiations or trade rumors which had failed to be resolved over the summer. This is understandably so – the lockout was a big deal; it became far more important to try to figure out what the hell was taking so long for this new CBA.
But the lockouts over now – it’s time to get back to sorting out the unsigned and untraded players.
Subban’s contract expired at the start of this past summer and, since approximately May, he has been in negotiations with the Canadiens. During the first post-lockout press conference, Habs GM Marc Bergevin declared that resolving these negotiations in a timely manner is now his main goal.
Subban, a fan-favourite over the last few years, has made it no secret that he wants to be able to stay in Montreal. He appears to continue to remain confident with his status in Montreal, having already started to prepare for the upcoming training camps. At the most recent post-lockout skate in Toronto, he issued a statement regarding his feelings about the ongoing negotiation process:
“I’ve never been worried. You start to worry if you don’t take care of things on the ice. I think I’ve done my job for the past two-and-a-half years … at this point it’s a process and it is a business. Anything can happen but obviously I’ve expressed an interest in being in Montreal for a long time.”
In the final year of his contract, he earned $875,000 USD. One of the problems of negotiations could end up being the new salary cap – as it stands, Montreal has 23 players under contract for a total of $63.9 million dollars. The salary cap for this season is $70.2 million dollars – and is expected to drop to $64.3 million dollars next year. The Habs would need to find a way to incorporate Subban’s salary demands into the salary cap, while taking into consideration the potential buyouts of next season.
Whatever the case, everyone still appears to be hopeful that within the next few days, there can be some kind of agreement is reached and a new contract is signed. For many fans, going back to the Bell Centre ice without P.K. there just would not be the same.