Thoughts on the Subban vs Bergevin waiting game

PK Subban

PK Subban

As some of you have been doing, much as I have, you’ve been watching some NHL hockey. And many of you, I will assume, have been happy to see the Habs back in action!

2 games in this shortened season and there is someone obviously missing from the fold.

PK Subban has still not been signed.

I think there are some interesting possibilities with PK and his agent Don Meehan still holding out for a larger contract.

It’s obvious that Montreal could really use PK. Subban’s skill would have many NHL teams scoop him up. But, I have to say that even though Montreal is better with PK in the lineup I’m not totally disappointed. Let me tell you why.

I do not want management in Montreal that will sign big money / big term deals to relatively young players. I still believe that a player should prove himself over a few years, consistently, to earn “the big $$$”. I do not want management that will really over pay for 1 or 2 guys. I think we’ve had enough of over paying players for a while.

Now that being said, don’t get me wrong, be a top tier player for 4 – 5 years… make top tier money.

Part of the problem in the NHL with salaries and the long term deals is that teams sign guys to huge money and huge years and are sometimes stuck with lack of production and an inability to move those contracts/players. (Yes, Gomez is an example)

1 team hands over piles of money and then that contract becomes “the comparable”. Sometimes, loads of money and term after 1 or 2 strong years. I’d rather have a proven guy (consistent 4 – 5 strong years) earning the top tier salary. Less risk.

Who has more leverage here? Bergevin or Subban/Meehan??

Well, although I’ve heard everyone suggest that all the pressure is on Bergevin. Surely, he is under immense pressure. However as the games go by that leverage could shift back and forth.

First game of the season the Canadiens did look pretty bad vs the Leafs but in the second game they had some energy in those legs. And Markov looked much more like the Markov of old.

So if Montreal moves forward and doesn’t play well at all? Bergevin will be under incredible pressure to sign him. This is where Meehan has a strong upper hand. But, if the Habs play decent, if Galchenyuk sticks and plays well… PK may sit out longer and longer and the argument could be “you haven’t played in a year”. This certainly wouldn’t look like a good bargaining chip long term for PK.

The happy medium is likely to just trade PK. Ultimately if PK isn’t willing to take a nice moderate raise (3 – 3.5 million a year which is a nice raise) and prove himself for a couple of years whereas he proves he should get the big $$$ for bigger term. Then trade him.

Max Pacioretty agreed to prove himself with a 2 year contract after the entry level.
Carey Price also agree to prove himself with a 2 year deal after the entry level.

I also see this in terms of mutual respect. Team gives you a raise, which you’ve deserved, but won’t give you the franchise unless you prove you deserve it. It’s like working your way up the ladder in your day to day job.

So far, PK and Meehan don’t want to take the chance on proving that he should get the big dollars $$$$$$$….$$..$….

And for that reason it may be best for the franchise to trade PK.

Let’s not get strapped to more bad deals. Let’s give the money wisely.

My $0.02.

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