Might Montreal Canadiens fans see P.K. Subban in the bleu, blanc, et rouge once again?
When asked about a possible return to the Canadiens on Tuesday, 32-year-old Subban said “anything is possible.”
The New Jersey Devils defenceman, who will be an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason, was asked by reporters where he might sign before the 2022-2023 season.
“This is a league of 32 teams now. That’s the thing, whether it’s Montreal, whether it’s New Jersey, whether it’s Nashville or any other team in the league, you want to play where you’re wanted,” he said.
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The Canadiens, who have only won eight out of their first 45 games this season, have been rumoured to be parting ways with top-pairing defenceman Jeff Petry. The return of team captain and fellow blue-liner Shea Weber is also unlikely which leaves gaping holes on the backend that someone like Subban could very likely help fill.
“You want to play where people value you and what you bring to the table,” he added.
While not completely disregarding the idea of a homecoming to the team that drafted him back in 2007, Subban was quick to praise his current squad. “Right now, that team’s New Jersey,” Subban added. “They traded for me. Since then the organization’s treated me very, very well. I’m very happy with my teammates — couldn’t be happier with those guys.”
Subban, who won the 2013 Norris Trophy as a member of the Habs, was also asked about former teammate and friend Carey Price, who has yet to play a game this year since dealing with a long-term injury and a personal leave of absence. “There’s no question that when he’s on the ice he’s one — if not, the best — goaltender in the world, and he’s got to take whatever time he needs for him and whatever decisions he takes, everyone will support him.”
After the Tuesday press conference, Subban and his teammates went on to embarrass the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in a game that ended in a 7-1 score. Nonetheless, the Devils (16-26-5), like the Habs, also find themselves at the very bottom of their division.
Before he was infamously traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Weber in 2016, Subban made a commitment to raise $10 million for the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The hospital called it “the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history.” His community philanthropy has continued in both Nashville and New Jersey.
While the often outspoken Subban has been a polarizing figure among fans and teammates, Montreal could make use of his skill and experience. And with the way things have been going for the Habs, they really don’t have a lot to lose.