Subban just had his third NHL game. It was his first in Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had skated for 40 minutes, 10 seconds, in two consecutive games against Philadelphia Flyers in February.
P.K. Subban shoots during his NHL debut, February 11, 2007, in Philadelphia against The Flyers. Getty Images
The 20-year old was looking ahead more than back when he entered the Canadiens Bell Centre dressing room on April 26th, a Hamilton-based emergency entry from the American Hockey League that would fill in for Jaroslav Spacek, an ailing veteran defenceman.
Subban wanted to speak about Game 7 the next night, as well as a VIP viewer he was hoping might be at Washington’s Verizon Center.
“Who knows? Perhaps [Barack] Obama will be there,” he declared with a thousand-watt smile, asking aloud if the U.S. president would be present.
Subban was just playing 10:02 in an elimination match, and 3:05 on the Power Play with 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. Coach Jacques Martin had also been there.
Obama was able to finish the job, but he had more important things. His second in command, Vice President Joe Biden was there for the Canadiens’ Game 7 win 2-1.
Subban squeezed into a folded chair at the end of the visitors’ dressing room to make sure there was enough space for his stall.
P.K. Subban’s 2007 NHL Draft portrait. Getty Images
Before playing the Nashville Predators, the Canadiens will lavishly celebrate their 33-year old former defenseman. ET, BSSO TSN2, RDS ESPN+, SN NOW), a full Bell Centre that will raise the arena’s roof, where 24 retired numbers banners and 18 championship banners are displayed.
Subban will be returning home to Montreal on Thursday night, according to the forecast. It is expected that a severe winter storm will arrive in Montreal. This is perfect because just as Subban’s news of his departure broke on Thursday, June 29, 2016, Shea Weber from the Predators was traded. As clouds gathered over Mount Royal, the sky opened up with a torrential downpour.
Subban was on vacation in Paris when he won the Norris Trophy as NHL’s top defenseman. The conference call he had to convene that night was marred by technical issues. Montreal’s media were unable to reach Subban’s call because of the interference from French-language radio.
P.K. P.K. Getty Images
Subban will be mobbed by Montreal journalists during Thursday’s first intermission. Subban is expected to step into the Bell Centre media lounge, where a large number of microphones and cameras surround him. This comes almost four months after he retired.
Subban said to Nashville reporters that he was proud of being a Montreal Canadien when he traded. I have to admit that the Montreal Canadiens fan base, along with the province of Quebec, have supported me far more than any player in other cities.
It’s a give-and-take relationship. Since the moment I was drafted, I have done many things for that community. They support me every step of the way. The fans and community have always made me feel welcome. “… I am going to the (Predators’) team that needs me. The Montreal Canadiens decided they needed to go down another path.
Montreal is still debating whether Subban’s huge personality was a factor in his departure. Marc Bergevin traded him for Subban. It’s clear that Subban’s selection in the second round (No. The team’s second-round selection (No. 43) during the 2007 NHL Draft took a lot of oxygen, he fought with some teammates, and was often viewed as a player who was more focused on his brand than on the Canadiens core business.
Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber and Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skill Competition held at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville. They would trade for one another five months later. Getty Images
Subban, however, was not a polarizing player. He galvanized. Subban’s magnetic personality, and often stunning style of play amazed fans right from his arrival during the 2010 playoffs.
He was the Canadiens’ most beloved player for seven more seasons. There were 76 jerseys that jumped off the shelves and onto fans’ backs. On Thursday, many will be in Bell Centre.
Andrei Markov (a frequent blue-line partner) said that Subban was a happy person and always smiles upon his retirement from the NHL in September 20, 2022. Subban is always full of energy, regardless of what. That’s what it is all about. His energy brought much joy to the dressing area.”
Subban never appeared to be concerned about his critics even though he heard them.
I have no control over the opinions or actions of the fans. He said that he does what he can to play hockey, and that he has a smile when completing the game.
P.K. Subban, with the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators, was his final NHL team. Getty Images
This was his mindset throughout his 13-season NHL season. He played 434 games with the Canadiens in his first seven seasons and 211 with the Predators his next three. He then traded to Nashville on June 22nd 2019, for two draft picks.
Subban had 115 goals and 352 assists. He also added 18 goals to his total of 44 assists during the playoffs. Subban retired two months after signing an ESPN multi-year deal as a studio analyst and other creative duties.
Elise Beliveau (wife of Jean Beliveau), is one of Jean’s biggest supporters in Montreal. She says that she will be at home on Thursday wearing her Subban jersey to the tribute.
P.K. Subban at the premiere of “Black Ice” during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, Roy Thomson Hall, Sept 10, 2022. Getty Images
Madame Beliveau attended the Montreal Children’s Hospital September 2015, when Subban made an announcement about his support of sick children and their families. His foundation pledged to raise $10 million via P.K. Subban’s foundation pledged to raise $10 million through P.K.
Weber’s contract, which is still inactive because of myriad injuries was transferred to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Evgenii Dadonov on June 16, 2022.
If Weber hadn’t been here, the Canadiens wouldn’t have celebrated Subban. There will not be any awkwardness as Subban is shower with love from fans on Thursday. They remind him, warts aside, that what he brought to Montreal off-ice was never forgotten.
Photo by P.K. Subban takes a moment to pause during his NHL playoff match against the Washington Capitals on April 26, 2007. Getty Images