The Montreal Canadiens and star defenseman P.K. Subban went all the way to arbitration this summer in an effort to finalize a new contract for the restricted free agent.
According to Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette, Habs owner Geoff Molson made sure that his franchise player was signed to a long-term deal before taking the one-year arbitration award.
“A highly-placed source has confirmed our theory that it was indeed Molson who overruled GM Marc Bergevin, when it appeared that the club might be saddled with a single-year arbitration contract and a disgruntled star,” Todd writes.
“It was Molson’s call to sign P.K. long-term, and it was exactly right.”
The two sides agreed to an eight-year, $72 million contract that makes Subban the highest-paid D-man in the NHL based on annual average value ($9 million per season). The Canadiens stood firm two years ago when Subban was a restricted free agent and won the negotiation by signing him to a two-year bridge contract. It appears that Molson wanted no part of a short-term pact this time around.
Subban not only makes a huge impact on the ice — the 2013 Norris Trophy winner tallied 53 points (10 goals, 43 assists) last season — he also helps the club from a business perspective. As one of the most exciting and popular players in the league, Subban helps drive jersey and ticket sales for Montreal.
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