For the second time in three summers, Subban is in need of a new deal and after going with a short-term (two years) deal last time, the assumption is he and the Habs would work out a long-term deal and eat up the first few years of unrestricted free agency this time around. But that won't be cheap and apparently it's a negotiation that isn't going too smoothly yet, otherwise you'd figure Subban wouldn't have elected for arbitration.
It's an ugly process that has been known to tear relationships apart between young players and franchises, not to mention it is a process where it leaves the team arguing why the player is not as good as he thinks, which is never fun. In the end it results in a short-term deal that for a player of Subban's quality, is a high price, probably higher than the Habs could get if they work out a longer-term deal with Subban themselves.
Certainly it's not all bad for the Canadiens here, even if the arbitration process is something nobody really wants to go through. With the arbitration pending, Subban is off limits for any offer sheets some predatory teams might have been thinking of making. They still have a few weeks to try and hammer out a deal they want rather than one they're told they have to take (assuming they want to keep Subban, which, duh).
There's nothing saying just because Subban elected for arbitration that we will indeed make it that far but it's something that will ensure Subban gets a price that will be fair to his value -- same for every player that filed -- but not for long.
As we said, Subban isn't the only player who filed for salary arbitration, he's joined on the Canadiens by Lars Eller. The Rangers have plenty of work cut out for them, especially with leading scorer Mats Zuccarello filing for arbitration.
Here is the entire list of 20 players who filed.
Brandon McMillan (Arizona Coyotes)
Matt Bartkowski (Boston Bruins)
Joe Colborne (Calgary Flames)
Cameron Guance (Dallas Stars)
Antoine Roussel (Dallas Stars)
Jimmy Hayes (Florida Panthers)
Dwight King (LA Kings)
Justin Fontaine (Minnesota Wild)
P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)
Lars Eller (Montreal Canadiens)
Matthia Ekholm (Nashville Predators)
Kevin Poulin (New York Islanders)
Derick Brassard (New York Rangers)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers)
Derek Grant (Ottawa Senators)
Nick Spaling (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Jason Demers (San Jose Sharks)
Cody Franson (Toronto Maple Leafs)
James Reimer (Toronto Maple Leafs)
The hearings for the arbitration will begin July 20 and run through Aug. 4. We'll have to wait and see how many will actually make it to the table in Toronto, it's amazing how the pressure of arbitration can lead to a last-minute deal.
The deadline for team-elected salary arbitration is on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.