Sunday, January 10, 2016

Not PK's finest hour

   The polarizing nature of PK Subban's personality manifested itself yet again on episode 4 of HBO's Road to the Winter Classic 2016, which featured the Montreal defenceman in an expletive-filled dressing room rant in the run-up to the New Year's Day game between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.  
   When I posted the video on my Facebook page and suggested it was a moment PK might have wanted back, the debate that ensued was devoid of middle ground.  Like most ideologically divisive social media threads, it quickly degenerated into the human version of dogs barking at each other unseen through a backyard fence, but the two opposing philosophies were clear: Subban's defenders adhered to the old school "boys will be boys/it's just dressing room stuff/everybody chill out" argument, which is entirely fair and credible, except that PK knew the cameras were in the room and played to them.  That's fair, too, but for a guy who's aggressively trying to cultivate a respectable, family-friendly brand, his approach missed the mark by a country mile.  
   It wasn't the swearing as much as it was the buffoonery that reflected poorly. You can drop f-bombs ad nauseam and still deliver a strong and inspiring message without resorting to embarrassing histrionics.  At a time when the team was struggling, Subban squandered what could have been a defining leadership moment.  The look on team captain Max Pacioretty's face in the video says it all. 
   Montreal is fortunate to have PK Subban - the man and the hockey player. His talent on the ice and generous community spirit are both indisputable. But scrutiny comes with the territory, and no public figure is above it.  The Montreal Canadiens are world renowned and respected for their class and dignity.  As the highest-profile representatives of the organization, it behooves Subban and his teammates to maintain those standards in the public eye at all times. 


  1. I agree with your comment about his generous community spirit but not about his on ice talent.
    He is over rated sorry to say.
    Not a very nice image to put out there.
    I am sorry but I do not consider this type of action as being leadership.
    Just my opinion but he should really look at being more careful about some of his actions.

  2. There is a school of thought that says people behave differently when cameras are pointed at them. I've got family films from the 50s to prove it. Let's say this was a teachable moment for PK. He may have found his dressing room rant hard to watch.

  3. Can't understand anyone calling this boys-will-be-boys dressing room antics. Not everything Subban does has to be a 'make-Mrs.Beliveau-proud-moment but this was just wrong. I'm sure half the room feels this way. But Subbi is above this. He's otherwise been a straight arrow in all aspects so it makes easy to sweep this one under. It's not so much the mistake but how you react to it that defines you. I'm sure he isn't proud right now. That's why I like him.