P.K. Subban and his agent walked out of a Toronto conference room Friday afternoon without a new contract with the Montreal Canadiens. After spending four hours together, the two sides failed to work out an agreement and went through with the scheduled arbitration hearing.
From here, the arbitrator has 48 hours to make her ruling. Subban’s agent, Don Meehan, and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin can continue to try and hammer out a long-term deal within that timeframe. However, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Meehan says there currently are no plans to negotiate further at the moment.
“We have to live with those decisions,” Subban told the media in regards to it being in the hands of the arbitrator now. "It's been an educational process for me.”
Earlier in the week, Subban’s side submitted an award request of $8.5 million. Fair and reasonable for a player of his status. The Canadiens are seeking $5.25 million. That’s not even Brooks Orpik territory!
Both Subban and the Canadiens requested a one-year award from the hearing. Since they went through with the hearing, Bergevin and his team had to argue their side as to why Subban is worth less than his $8.5 million request.
Meehan likely prepped Subban by telling him not to take what he hears inside the conference room personally. But when you’re an elite player who owns a Norris Trophy and has played some of your best hockey since taking a two-year bridge deal in 2013, you expect to be paid. “I’ve done [my job], and [Meehan will] do his,” Subban said in May regarding contract negotiations.
What is Bergevin’s gameplan here? Who knows. He declined comment.
The Canadiens have a 25-year old defenseman who loves the team and the city and is willing to spend the rest of his career in Montreal. Why would Bergevin not want to tie him there with a long-term deal? Instead, the team is playing a dangerous game of chicken that could see one of the two faces of their franchise leave town, possibly before he becomes a UFA in two years time.
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