Friday, August 1, 2014
Regardless of the outcome of PK Subban's arbitration hearing, it's unfortunate that it had to come to this. It's just business, but it's business among people, and as such there will always be an emotional component. As mature and professional as he's been during the negotiation process, Subban can't help but feel slighted when the Canadiens try to minimize his worth in front of an arbitrator.
It wouldn't be so bad if this weren't the second time they've butted heads at the bargaining table. Subban held out for six games two seasons ago until he compromised on a bridge contract, on the understanding that the jackpot would be waiting once he proved himself. A Norris Trophy and Stanley Cup semifinal run on his shoulders later (which is all the proof anyone should need), the Canadiens are still playing hardball.
When you combine everything he brings to the table on and off the ice with the modern day potential for revenue streams, there's a strong case to be made for Subban as the most valuable asset in Canadiens franchise history, which makes doing things the hard way that much more puzzling...and dangerous. Now that they've actually gone to arbitration, the popular refrain that it's all just part of the process, PK will sign his long-term deal and bygones will be bygones rings a lot more hollow than it did this time yesterday.