A day after going through with an arbitration hearing, P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens finally came to an agreement on a new deal that will keep Subban with the Habs for the next eight seasons.
The eight-year deal announced by the Canadiens on Saturday is the max deal in terms of length that Subban could receive. It certainly beats the short-term deal they were looking at if an arbitration result were awarded.
"We are very pleased to have reached a long term agreement with P.K. Subban," Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said. "This agreement helps consolidate the future of our team. A key element of our group of young veterans, P.K. plays with a high level of intensity every time he steps onto the ice. Despite his young age, he carries a great deal of experience and brings contagious energy to the team. Defensemen of his level are a rare commodity in the NHL."
Initially the financials weren't released but Bob McKenzie had them a short while after the Canadiens announced the deal and as you could guess, it's a very lucrative deal for one of the best young defensemen in the league.
Subban's eight year deal with MTL has an AAV of $9M. #TSN— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 2, 2014
That would be eight years and $72 million, so yes, it's lucrative alright.
In fact, the new annual average of $9 million makes Subban the highest-paid defenseman in the league, easily eclipsing the salary of Shea Weber ($7.857 million) among rearguards. The new amount also makes Subban the third highest-paid player for the 2014-15 season based on cap hit behind only Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.
It's a deserved place for one of the game's top young stars, and a guy who is as charasmatic as they come.
Subban won the Norris Trophy in the lockout-shortened 2013 season and followed it up with another strong campaign in 2013-14 for Montreal in which he finished with 53 points on seven goals and 46 assists while playing all 82 games. He did that will playing more than 24 minutes per game, the fifth most in the NHL. Aside from Carey Price, Subban has become their most important player.
He was even better in the postseason when he led the Canadiens in points with 14 as they reached the Eastern Conference finals before bowing out to the Rangers.
After taking a bridge deal for a modest $2.875 million cap hit, Subban was guaranteed to break the bank on a new deal as the two seasons since signing that contract have only seen his value skyrocket. The Canadiens knew that, it was just a matter of figuing how much to pay him.
In a way, too, this new deal makes up a bit for that bridge contract and its modest value. You can look at it in part as making whole the last two seasons in which Subban vastly outplayed his price tag. After a contentious negotiation this summer, any and all good will is appreciated.
While it's a costly deal for the Habs, they aren't going to leave this feeling too bad because after all, they just signed Subban to an eight-year deal. Not only does that mean he's staying there through at least his prime years but also that any lingering animosity from an arbitration hearing wasn't an issue. He certainly didn't sound deterred on Saturday.
To every fan across the league that was dreaming about Subban, you can forget it, if you ever bothered to get your hopes up in the first place.