Canadiens GM says more to Subban trade than public knows

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 01: P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens warms up prior to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 01: P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One gets the notion that Marc Bergevin will be discussing the P.K. Subban trade for the rest of his life, whether it ultimately succeeds or fails. And, perhaps, one of those discussions will actually go into detail about his ‘behind the locker room door’ motivations for having done so.

But for now, Bergevin is content offering vague comments and subtly tossing Subban under the bus after his departure.

Dave Stubbs on spoke with Bergevin, as asked about reaction to the Subban trade:

I’ve been really busy with July 1 free agency and, until today, our development camp. Since I was hired, I’ve been staying away from reading [media reports about the team]. Even when we went to the Eastern Conference Final [in 2014], I didn’t read. I try to stay focused.

Is it worth it to get upset at somebody because he writes something? They don’t know what they don’t know. You can’t blame people for doing their job and writing what they believe, but ….

For me, I like football. I like to watch it. But I’m not an expert and I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. If they trade a player on a team I like, there must be a reason why they did it and I don’t know the reason why. If I know, then I could have an opinion. Otherwise, I’m guessing.

Well, there’s guessing and then there’s analytical reading between the lines. So when you consider whom Bergevin has acquired this summer – Shea Weber, physically imposing and prominent member of two Canadian Olympic gold medal teams; Andrew Shaw, physically aggressive part of two Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup teams – you get a sense, perhaps, of what he felt the Subban Canadiens were lacking.


Bergevin: Two Stanley Cups in five years. I like guys who don’t like to lose. Everybody likes to win, everybody’s happy when you win. I want guys, when you lose, it gets them inside. It hurts. And then you go back to work the next day.

I don’t want a guy who walks out of the rink thinking, “Everything is cute, everything is fine even though we lost the game, life goes on.” Yeah, life goes on, but I want guys who feel hurt by a loss. It’s the culture that I want. It’s the Chicago culture, that’s what I want. Andrew Shaw has it. I was in Chicago long enough to know they don’t take losing with a grain of salt. I want guys who don’t like to lose.

Hey, the Chicago culture, that’s great. All you need now are Jonathan Toews and Joel Quenneville now that, presumably, Weber fills the Duncan Keith role. The Chicago Way is something other teams have tried to mimic. See also: Dave Bolland’s contract.

But again, all we can do is speculate. Because the guy that pulled the trigger on this deal is content with leaving it at “I know better than all of you.”

And, apparently, David Poile, too.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.