Sunday, July 3, 2016

The P.K. trade: disappointing but understandable


    One of the most telling tweets in the immediate aftermath of the P.K. Subban trade didn't come from a journalist or a teammate or anyone otherwise involved in the day-to-day machinations of the Montreal Canadiens.  
   It came from a chef.

   David McMillan is the co-owner and public face of what is arguably Montreal's trendiest and most renowned restaurant - Joe Beef (along with upscale sister properties Liverpool House and Le Vin Papillon).  He's a star in his own right, and a straight shooter with strong convictions.
   Reading between the lines of his tweet, it's not unreasonable to speculate that the celebrity chef at a favorite haunt of wealthy young hockey players witnessed some behind-the-scenes dynamics that journalists aren't privy to, and garnered some insight from unguarded conversations over several bottles of fine wine.  McMillan's tweet didn't betray anyone's trust, but it reinforced the theory that Subban put himself before the team.  
   And really, what logical reason was there to trade Subban if he hadn't become an untenable presence in the organization?  An immensely talented player entering his prime athletic years should be untouchable.  Add to that his enormous and almost universal popularity among the fan base and the unprecedented commitment to the community in the form of a $10 million dollar fundraising initiative for the Montreal Children's Hospital, and it's unthinkable that the Canadiens would send such a team and community pillar packing.  Unless...
   The racism trope doesn't pass muster in explaining the trade.  I don't doubt for a minute that there's latent racism among some who don't even realize that their dislike for P.K. is rooted in an outdated mentality, but hockey is a business, and an asset of Subban's caliber isn't surrendered on the grounds that he's "uppity".  As much as the notion of the self-confident black man not "knowing his place" no longer applies, neither should behavior detrimental to the greater good be excused or rationalized by playing the race card.
   I was as surprised and disappointed as most Canadiens fans when I heard that Subban was traded.  Shea Weber will be an excellent defenceman and leader for the Habs, but P.K. transcended the game and was part of the fabric of Montreal.  That's what makes it sad.  But as P.K. himself said when he was asked about trade rumours, "where there's smoke, there's fire".  There were smoke signals aplenty that Subban had outworn his welcome, and that whatever his talents and contributions on the ice, they were no longer worth the aggravation.

12 comments:

  1. He was just too big a personality for this back water. He would do fine a be loved in the big apple. Montreal small minds jealous co workers and of course our wonderful coach who has never won anything ever.

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  2. There was most definitely issues in the dressing room that we will probably never hear about. I don't think that it was as much of an issue between PK and coach as people think. He was an amazing player and his greatness is still yet to be seen but Weber is a leader and no slouch of his own. Let's just Weber the storm and enjoy next season. #GHG

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  3. What a closed minded comment to say the least, it shows that the big apple is brown with age and has a large worm in it. Ted without knowing what really went on behind closed doors only the few really know for sure why. Until then keep your hatred to yourself.

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    1. I believe the appropriate reply here to TB's comment is...snap

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  4. You should be honoured that Paul Newman came back from the dead and reads your blog. Know your place and show the salad dressing King a little God damn respect.

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  5. This morning i read the Subban was the player tweeted most often since the trade. He was a polarising person and in a team that leads to groups of players who like him or dont. Thats a cancer in a team...

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  6. Take away everything - Subban, for a high paid NHL player, never took it upon himself to learn hockey at the NHL level. The Habs trusted him and gave him what the market dictated - just to keep him in Montreal. He returned the favor by doing nothing on the ice which was beneficial to the team. All about Subban on and off the ice. Shame as Ted said.The media must take some responsibility here. Praising and feeding the ego to enormous proportions. Subban should have been brought to earth by the media on his numerous mental and physical errors. Thank goodness - the true hockey people paid attention. Now, the circus may focus on hockey once more now that the clown is gone

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  7. Spot on Ted. PK was building his brand on the back of the CH. There can only be one hockey brand in MTL. Best of luck to PK in Nashville.

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  8. Interesting read. I honestly did not even think about "race" being a factor, and quite frankly it's extremely unfortunate that it ever has to be brought up. High profile and polarizing player in a high profile hockey crazed city makes more highly emotional reactions. But that is why I love Montreal and why I love being a CH fan. This trade will continue to stir raw emotions for awhile but hopefully the loyal fans, as hurt and angered as they are, will continue to support the Habs or at the very least, continue to vent but in a respectful, non-riot manner. It will definitely hurt Les Canadiens at the ticket counter as well as merchandise taking a big hit so we will all have to just wait and see what happens. Players&Coaches&GMs will come and go but Les Canadiens de Montreal will always remain so support the team. Go Habs Go!

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  9. I don't buy the number 1 over team theory. He was always himself. We couldn't accept it. add to that how the Habs Organization is so tight-knit in long standing tradition; anyone who strays from it, is an Outcast. I'm happy he's gone for what's best for PK but I wish there had been a way he might have stayed. The 1st and 2nd year for PK it was almost fashionable for people to have hate-on for him. Ted was one of the lone voices in the media that defended him; I always appreciated that so much.

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  10. Is it not possible this was just a good old hockey trade? Montreal needed leadership. PK seemed to be hard to lead. Its hard to argue that the top five skaters this year are better than the top five from last year. PK may make this a bad trade two or three years from now but if we win the cup in the next two years no one will care. Che Hab is the nickname for Radlov, due to his revolutionary nature and love of CHez.

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