P.K. Subban?

PK subban

P.K. Subban, once again. is at the centre of controversy. And once again, it’s the fault of his head coach, Michel Therrien, who made a point of putting the blame for the club’s latest loss on Subban’s shoulders.

Now, there are reports that the Canadiens have gauged Subban’s trade value on the open market.

Could the 26-year-old right shot defenceman actually be traded? And if so, is there any better fit than Edmonton?

What Happened

Subban tried to break past Grigorenko, had the puck knocked off his stick and then simultaneously blew a tire at the worst possible moment. Colorado scored the game-winner.

Therrien was unforgiving in his assessment. Bill Beacon reported his comments in the Toronto Star

The team worked hard. We deserved a better result. It’s too bad an individual mistake cost us the game late in the game … We believe that, as a coach, he [Subban] could have made a better decision at the blue line. He put himself in a tough position. We play as a team. When we don’t we could be in trouble and this is what happened.”

Subban disagreed, saying that if he hadn’t lost an edge he would have taken the puck down the wall and potentially created an offensive opportunity. 

Given the history between player and coach and the already heated situation in Montreal, it’s no surprise that this has become a major story. Gasoline was poured on the fire Friday morning, when TVA’s Louis Jean tweeted out that Subban’s name had been mentioned in conversation between general managers:

It’s important not to overstate this; it’s easy enough to imagine a scenario where General Manager X called up Marc Bergevin and in the course of the conversation brought up Subban. If Bergevin stayed on the line and solely out of curiosity asked how this rival G.M. would peg the player, that would be consistent with “gauging the market” without conveying an intent to trade the player.

If, though, we entertain the idea that Montreal would be crazy enough to entertain trading Subban, there aren’t many teams in the NHL that would be a better fit than the Oilers.

The Edmonton Perspective

Peter Chiarelli3

Outside of Connor McDavid, there isn’t a player on the Oilers’ roster who would be more important to the team than P.K. Subban if Subban were magically to appear in the system.

Subban is a legitimate No. 1 defenceman who plays in all situations. He’s a right shot. He’s only 26 years old. He’s an exceptional skater, he’s offensively gifted, and he’s also a 210-pound physical defender. He’s under team control at a $9.0 million cap hit from now until 2022.  

He’s the ideal cornerstone defensive piece for Edmonton’s blue line.

If he legitimately becomes available—and I’m skeptical that he would—the Oilers would need to make a legitimate offer, with no player other than McDavid absolutely off-limits, including people like Taylor Hall, Leon Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. 

Montreal would be crazy to trade him, even if it brought back the good young centre the team has been looking for forever. Edmonton would be even crazier to pass if the opportunity to acquire him arose. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Hockey Buddha

    Subban is a talent and plays with an edge, and I like his on-ice play. I’ve also watched him closely enough to know that he is not without some imperfections in his game. I think that playing in Montreal, Subban is highly over hyped and would require a significant overpay to acquire. I’m not really down for that. If Subban is being dealt, it’s for his poor behaviour toward his coach and teammates. Those are serious red flags, which also make me somewhat hesitant.

    I think that collectively we are so down on our team at the moment that we cannot see straight. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t result in an unwise 3-for-1 hockey trade that we regret for many years to come.

      • hitchikerforajax

        Why are the fans the only people, who understand, different coaches, g.m.s & prez & still last place. The only constant, is the core players. I say, until the get rid of at least 2 of, Hall, RNH, Eberly, Yakapov & Schultz, they will struggle & Struggle mightly. Trade them now, while they have value & not wait like they did with Petry & Hemsky!

        • What gm in the nhl is going to trade for the payers who have caused Edmonton to be so bad? Think about what you’re saying. You’re saying that the core of this oilers team is the reason they’ve been so poor for even longer than any of them have been in Edmonton, yet you expect other NHL gm’s to not be aware of that? What value could any of those players have if they’re the reason Edmonton is a bottom dweller?

      • Hockey Buddha

        I like Subban, although I’m concerned about the rumours being floated about his relationship with his coach and teammates. For me, it largely depends on the ask for him, which I think will be pretty steep.

        As a fan base, we’ve suffered for about a decade in acquiring our core, which one can reasonably assume consists of McDavid, Hall, Draisaitl, Nurse, Eberle, and Klefbom. Yakupov and Nugent-Hopkins are currently outside the core, but both have very bright NHL futures. You don’t think it’s possible to make a regrettable trade involving 2-3 of those players? I guess that’s where we differ.

        I’m reasonably confident that Chiarelli won’t make a dumb trade, but the opportunity exists to make a colossal gaffe with an overpay imo. When you’re losing consistently it’s very easy to devalue what you have before you. Just expressing that concern.

      • Zarny

        No, sticking with this core hasn’t been the mistake.

        Surrounding and supporting the core with absolute garbage has been the mistake. Belov, Belanger, Peckham, Whitney, Gilbert, Hordichuk, Eager, Schultz x 2, Larsen, Petrell, Acton.

        Lennart Petrell and Will Acton played 128 games for the Oilers and you think sticking with the core is the mistake lol?!?

        Get. A. Grip. Take Hall, Nuge and Eberle off the roster and the Oilers wouldn’t have been a good AHL team some years.

        Right now, they have 1 top 4 Dman. One! They need Klefbom to come back just to have half as many top 4 D as they need.

        That is the mistake.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Take Hall, Nuge and Eberle off this roster and the absolute worst case scenario is a 30th place team. Just like the Hall-cluster led Oilers. Except, of course, either the payroll would be cap floor level or the players acquired by trading the core just might improve the team.

          • Time Travelling Sean

            Or we have endured 7 years of the worst hockey imaginable and now have no hope of getting better because the players we sacrificed to get are now gone.

            Michael Jordan and Mario Lemieux didn’t even make the playoffs or get past the first round until they got a team built around them, and Hall+Nuge haven’t fared any better.

          • Zarny

            1. I don’t care about Katz’ money. As a fan, there is absolutely nothing positive about being a cap floor team.

            2. If all you do is trade the core for different core players the team won’t improve. Because the new core would be surrounded by the same garbage.

            The only problem with the core is that they are all forwards. Moving an asset to balance the roster I fully support, but there is nothing wrong the remaining core players. Surround and support them with a team that isn’t putrid and the Oilers will win.

            Just like every other team (LA, Chi, NYI, TB etc) that got absolutely pounded when they only had a few core players and garbage.

        • Zarny

          If you guys are going to talk about cores, how about we look at a team with an actual core?

          Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Crawford. Two elite forwards, two elite defencemen and a proven starter. That is a core.

          The Oiler “core” up until this season have been Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Jultz. There’s no balance there. You take Hall, Nuge, Eberle off the roster and replace one of them with a quality puckmover, they’re a more balanced and competitive team.

          • Zarny

            If you replaced Hall, Nuge and Eberle with Karlsson the Oilers would be even worse than they already are.

            As I said, I fully agree the roster is unbalanced, but that is the problem not the players themselves.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Off topic. If the Oilers buy out Ference this summer, then he retires, does his buyout still count against the cap or can it be buried somehow so the Oilers still have that cap space.

    • Cant be done, He postponed his hip surgery to be sure it ran through the buyout period. Must have strained his hip walking up and down to the press box. Trash away if you like, but IMO his press stunts are to keep himself relevant, which he isn’t. Just hear his name and it has just become synonymous with Eakins, Mac-T ,Howson, Lowe and all the other associated d bags that have run this franchise into the ground and then some. Hope you are on this Pete, because Connors agent will not put up with this s*it show. I (WE) await massive changes and maybe some accountability finally, but this train wreck is not over.

  • Toe-Dragger

    Subban’s “red flags” are the exact same “red flags” as Cam Newton. It’s absurd that this gets talked about when he is a top 5 D-man in the league hands down. He has the ability to create offence from the back end with skating, creativity AND a heavy shot. He is 26. He is asked to do EVERYTHING on that Montreal team because they are bad and it will be hilarious how bad they will be without him. Not to mention, he could play every situation in every game and handle heavy minutes for us just like he does for them. He is THE piece in the NHL that fixes us more than any other player with the possible exception of Doughty (I’m valuing RHD higher than LHD here due to our depth chart – no offence to Keith, etc).

    Let’s capitalize on the closet racism coming out of Montreal that attributes these “character issues” to him just because he is a black guy that isn’t afraid of the microphone and plays with a little style. And with that said, I’m assuming they don’t want Nurse coming back in the deal.

    Therefore, we offer Nuge/Klefbom and leave that offer out there for a week. If it’s no dice, we throw in our 2nd round pick. If it’s still no dice, we grin and bear Draisaitl and Klefbom because we still win the deal. If we have McDavid and Subban long term, everything else is complementary. We are a playoff team starting next year for 7 years minimum just with those 2 guys.

  • S cottV

    Pk is overpaid. Number 1 d sure but not Kieth, not doughty not Webber or. Karlson however he comes at a higher cap hit than all those guys. Would anyone else prefer the oilers go after Tyson Barrie?

    • fisherprice

      The cap hit is largely due to a bad gamble by Bergevin (giving him a bridge contract instead of the 5-6 years at $5.5 mil that PK was looking for at the end of his entry level) and being forced to offer actual market value. All of those guys’ cap hits are lower by virtue of being signed in earlier years (with the natural rise of cap hits) or earlier stages of their careers. It’s arguable whether PK is better or worse than Keith, Weber, Karlsson, or Doughty but he’s at least in the conversation with all those guys. Tyson Barrie is a great NHL defenceman and I certainly hope the Oilers are targeting him as well as other possibly available right handed D, but Barrie ain’t no Subban and it isn’t even close.

  • .

    Looking at the drafting of players like Letang (62nd), Weber (49th), PK Subban (43rd), Keith (54th), Byfuglien (245th), Giordano (undrafted), Brodie (114th), Josi (38th), Faulk (37th), Vatenen (106th), Barrie (64th), Boychuck (61st), Strålman (216th), Hamonic (53rd)–all 2nd rounds at best–its frustrating to think that the Oilers need to trade up to two of their best forwards for a 53rd over all D pick (Hamonic).

    I guess it’s equally frustrating to think that there is such a strong lack of development in the organization that at no time in the last ten years has a 2nd round or later D man risen up in the way that these examples have.

    Hopefully Davidson will be that player.

    Edit: if we’re going to be talking about Hamonic until at least the day he gets traded, is there anyway to fix the built-in spell check on this site so we’re not constantly calling him Harmonic, when we spell Hamonic?

  • Cheeba

    No, no, no, no, no, a million times NO!!

    PK imo is one of, if not the, most overpaid player in the league.

    I’m not even a fan of Toews and Kane making 10 mil, but they at least have the argument of 3 cups in 5 years.

    PK is/was popular in Montreal, and is buddies with Price, so he wrangled that into bending Montreal manangement over a barrel, and getting 9 mil a year.

    For what ?? NO CUPS! And oh yeah, he was considered for Team Canada, but Babcock cut him, so what does that tell you?

    He has the big slapper from the point, but he’s like Weber, he only hits the net once out of every 3 or 4 shots. And he isn’t good as Karlsson, who at least puts up enough points to make up for his defensive mistakes.

    Not worth 9 mil, or the headache that goes with him.

    So just … NO!

    • Um he made Team Canada and yeah he didn’t play only because Team Canada Had Doughty Webber and Pietrangelo as right shots ahead of him.

      But if you don’t think hes a top 10 D man in the league and top 5 under 30 then you sir need to watch hockey a bit more.

  • Tricky trade because Bergevin is likely willing to move PK if someone “knocks his socks off” but no one is going to offer the moon for a $6 million AAV D man who makes 9 million per. Any team trading for PK will want the Habs to consider the risk they’re assuming picking up Subban’s contract. I know Habs fans think he’s a spotless asset but I doubt there are many GM’s who agree, who knows.

  • Cheeba

    @Raj

    I’ve been watching hockey for over 30 years now, if you must know.

    Just curious why you or other ppl think PK is a top 5 Dman in the entire league ?

    Yes, he has the big slapshot. That he hits the net with every 3 or 4 attempts.

    Plays with an edge? You mean when he hacks and slashes ppl? Ok, I guess that means he has a net front presence, I will give you that.

    Otherwise, he is mostly a defensive liability almost every time I have watched him play. He gets beat on the boards, and gets burned a lot of times for his so called creativity. If you want the offensive guy that makes up for his defensive mistakes, there are many Dmen better than PK at it.

    When you have , for example, the world class Dmen on Chicago like Seabrook or Keith making 6 mil, PK is a joke at 9 mil. How can you say he is not overpaid ??

  • toprightcorner

    If Bergevin trades Subban for some stupid reason, I think a package deal makes sense for MTL as they will be wanting to make bigger changes.

    Draisaitl/Nurse/Fayne/Pouliot (French bonus points)

    for

    Subban/Galchenyuk/Smith-Pelly

    Deep down the middle, much better defense. Now the holes are wingers, easiest player to get.

    Trade options 1st – Hoffman/Hartnell/Kreider/JVR

    UFA signing options – Demers/Brouwer/Lucic/Ladd

    Hoffman – McDavid – Eberle

    Hall – Nuge – Brouwer

    Kassian – Galchenyuk – Yakapov

    Hendricks – Letestu – Smith-Pelly

    Sekera – Subban

    Klefbom – Demers

    Davidson – Gryba

    Clendening

  • toprightcorner

    If Bergevin was smart, he would have fired Therrien the day after those comments. Prevents a Patrick Roy fiasco and supports your franchise player.

    By not at least making a statement of long term support of Subban it really makes me think Bergevin may possibly consider trading him.

  • Seanaconda

    Yeah Chris prongers contract is almost 5 mill cap hit for only 590 grand ish actual paid salary. Kind of a unique contract specially after the kovalchuk rule. Unless you just meant run him on the ir. But players that are gonna be on the IR still count against the cap at the start of the year. Chia is already an expert on this trying to fit savards contract under the cap every year.

  • S cottV

    Reading some of the comments, I’m inclined to agree with those thinking PK at $9mm per year plus the assets given up in trade – is too steep.

    Let’s go the cheaper prospective first pairing type d man, who will peak in 2 to 3 years.

    I would rather see Weber or Suter – like, than PK like.

    We’re not coming close to winning Stanley Cups anyway – at least till McD and Drai are veterans.

  • Anton CP

    For the sake of argument, both Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin have screwed up. Bergevin wouldn’t be in this situation that he has to give such lucrative deal to Subban if not because he decided not to give a long turn contract to Subban after his entry expired. He could have signed Subban for long turn with less of a cap hit at then instead of a 9m cap hit they have now.

    A RHS D is already in high demand especially someone with Subban’s talent but Bergevin was trying to low-ball Subban like he did with Pacioretty and it backfired that Subban won Norris and left Bergevin with no bargaining chip to sign Subban anything reasonable at the end.

    It is puzzling about how if Bergevin can offer a 4.1m to Emelin and 5.5m to Petry when both of them proved nothing to Habs and Eller did nothing to get paid 3.5m. Plekanec’s contract was signed before Begervin’s arrival with 5m cap hit however he did extend him to another 2 years with 6m cap hit with his inconsistent performances.

    Desharnais has very limited talent, average offensive ability, tiny hockey frame but gets massive push to be on top 2 lines. Therrien loves him so much that Galchenyuk has to play on either 3rd line C or convert to wing. Therrien shouldn’t really single out Subban since he is the entire offense of Habs, not only that with Subban playing avg 26 mins per game that he is still manage to stay on +6 on struggling Habs then I seriously doubt that Subban is the one to blame for Habs’ woe.

  • cityofchampions

    First off, Montreal management would be nuts to trade Subban, and I don’t think Montreal ownership would let them do it even if they wanted to.

    Hypothetically speaking, if Subban was available, the package going back would almost certainly have to include a centre and a dman, one established and one blue chip prospect – throwing in one veteran would even up the cap hits.

    Logically speaking, that’s a Nuge-Nurse (or Klefbom), or a Drai-Sekera deal, probably throwing in Yak as a sweetener, maybe mixing in a few non-first round draft pics on both sides to make it work.

  • Anton CP

    I don’t think we can land Subban, but if we could we should…. Just look at this:

    If all rumours are true we could have Hamonic, Jones and/or PK.

    According to some fans here we prefer to have Eberle, Nuge and Hall. This fans also prefer Klefbom and Nurse…..

    Well there you go: you don’t want to trade any of these players that have done nothing but lose and you want to start winning with them? How do we do that?

    McDavid is very good but this is a team sport , he is not magical…..

    If we ever want to win, the core needs to be modified

  • hagar

    The theoretics of this teams moves make me want to puke..

    Forget “what would you do wednesday..”

    How about “what will never happen, but let’s talk like it has a chance thursday?”

    Reading these thrice weekly cannon fodder “what ifs” instead of keeping attention on what everyone with a brain knows, is just weird.

    I heard Daughty farted during a team meeting… rumor has it his fart meant he is looking to be traded to the oilers with absolutely zero sense of the trade to be made..

  • hagar

    What if this team learned how to win with four first overall pics?

    What if this team didn’t actually get WORSE, the more first overall pics they got??

    My nightmare is to come on here after draft day, not a single move has been made to change the dynamic of the team, and everyone is talking about how great next year is going to be..

    I will shoot my Internet oilersnation head off with a shot gun, feel for the rest of you like a person does watching those shows about cult members, then promptly pick a new forever team.

  • fisherprice

    RE: PK’s turnovers

    PK turns over the puck a lot because he has the puck more than almost anyone in hockey. Guess what? All the players being bandied about here as better defenders than PK because PK turns the puck over are all guys who place right near the top of the league in turnovers.

    The 5 players with the most turnovers this season? PK Subban, Drew Doughty, Eric Karlsson, Brent Burns, & Brent Seabrook. It’s because they’re all counted on to be the primary puck mover for their team (well, except Seabrook who is the secondary puck mover for his team).

    Bulk turnovers is one of the most one dimensional stats to look at for heavy usage defencemen.

  • Anton CP

    Hmm…

    Ok, a blue print to a successful team needs:

    1. Top pairing Ds that can play tough minutes which the Oilers have none.

    2. Bona fide No. 1 C that can play 2-way, Nuge at best is 2nd line C. Only McDavid is the legit No. 1 C.

    3. A sniper on wing that can scoring at will, Eberle is close enough to be one but his accuracy is not at elite level.

    4. Veteran leadership with enough mileage that can help the team to get out the tough spot, the Oilers have none.

    5. Goalie can play well enough to help the team squeeze out some wins, Talbot is the one since Krueger’s Dubnyk.

    Funny about how some of you link the team’s failure with Hall considering that Hall has lots of successes with any other team he has ever played for EXCEPT the Oilers. Maybe it is the Oilers that prevent Hall to achieve any successes in NHL instead of the other way around? Eberle has about the same tenure as Hall, why can’t you say it is Eberle’s fault then?

    I still don’t understand why so many are overvaluing Nuge that considering at best he is a 60 point player. He may have better career if he is playing behind someone else but he will never going to be that No. 1 C. He may have some defensive plays but he is not reliable enough for 2 way games.

    Here is something, meanwhile that teams are trying to emulate Hawks but how many do you know that Hawks drafted 9 Ds with names like Anton Babchuk, Duncan Keith, James Wisniewski, Brent Seabrook, and Dustin Byfuglien from 19 picks between 2002~2003? To build a successful team through draft that you have to start from back end because it takes longer to develop and once the back are solidified that the forwards can feel safe to just focus on attack. The Oilers drafted only 16 Ds from 61 picks between 2007~2014 (and Chiarelli drafted 4 Ds out of 6 picks in 2015). The failure of the Oilers rebuild are not because the players are not trying, it is simply the inept managements for the longest time have no clue on how to build a winning team. If anyone is criticizing on Chiarelli’s job so far that I will just believe that you are a troll from the Flameland. He knows the weakness of the team and he is desperately trying to address the problem but if he cannot find a willing partner then what can he do? He cannot get Hamilton because Sweeney was trying to stick it to Chiarelli. He cannot get Seth Jones simply because that Jackets went all out by ship their best player exchange for an unproven D. Nuge is not even close to the value of Johansen.

    Also, the old management sent the best defenseman to minor out of spite on the first year of rebuild may not be a good idea.

  • Anton CP

    Btw, I’ve heard a pretty good player who is a RHS D-man that is currently playing in KHL named Philip Larsson. I wonder if he is going to be a good fit for the Oilers.

  • Zarny

    @Anton CP

    Overvaluing Nuge because he’s only a 60 point player? You should pay closer attention. In today’s NHL 60 points is top 30-40 scoring in the league lol.

    After the Jones trade Sportsnet polled GMs: Johansen or Nuge?

    9 answered: 5 Nuge, 4 Johansen.

    So I hate to break it to you, but Nuge is basically the exact same value as Johansen.

    You, like many, confuse 1 C with Olympic caliber all-world elite C. Not the same I’m afraid.

    • Anton CP

      25th place as a C meanwhile log on 2nd most minutes per game among C for Nuge last year.

      So the polled GMs that how many are from Western Conference?

      Nuge and Johansen are not the same, at least for Preds.

      Also, if I’m not mistaken, isn’t many here believed that first overall pick should be an Olympian caliber all-world elites? At least he is getting paid in such like 6m per. That is top tier money.

      What are you trying to tell me here?

  • .

    The Oilers should be putting Ference on the LTIR and not buying him out.
    Let the insurance pay and his cap space comes back to us once the puck drops in the first game.
    Problem solved!

  • Who needs a buyout when you can put him on LTIR? There is always a nagging back pain or concussion what have you that show no external symptoms but stops you from playing.

    Important thing is for him to realize his time is up so he does not stop rehabilitating…

  • Seanaconda

    The pronger deal only worked cuz his cap hit was so much higher than his actual salary. I’m pretty sure phoenix still has to pay him but his contract dipped so much it was worth it for them cuz it allowed them to be able to spend a couple mill under the cap. I don’t think ferances deal was quite so front loaded

  • Been there

    Not frontloaded at all seeing there is only one year left. The reason I mentioned putting him on LTIR early is to remove any issue of buying him out and adding another year of $$$ to the cap however minimal it would be.

    Ference is scheduled to have hip surgery so I am not even sure they can buy him out if he is not healthy enough to play?

    JW do you know?

    Regardless it seems to be bad management if they do not take that option. Insurance pays, Ference, he gets his money and the Oilers get his Cap space once the puck drops on the season when they LTIR him. Season ends and no other obligations are there into next season.
    Just a thought?