In the end Marc Bergevin stuck to his guns and has ended up signing P.K. Subban to a two-year deal, $2 million (prorated) for this year and $3.75 million for next. That was the “bridge” contract Bergevin was insisting on, and never moved off that position. P.K. became a restricted free agent after his three year “entry” contract expired last year, and was looking for a longer contract, reportedly for six years at $5 million per year. As he said in an interview with The Gazette last week, “I want to be paid what I’m worth.”
I think P.K. realized this was going to be the best deal Marc Bergevin was prepared to sign him to, and if he didn’t want to keep sitting out, he’d better sign. This is still a good deal for Subban, and if he keeps playing like he has and keeps improving, he’ll get his big deal in two years time.
No date was set for his return, but I’m guessing it will be on Wednesday against the Senators in Ottawa.
From the conference call after the signing:
Marc Bergevin: “Today’s a great day for the Montreal Canadiens. Proud to reach an agreement with P.K. Subban. He’s a really good, young defenseman with a lot of upside. We’re going to make sure he’s well surrounded by the coaches and the new staff we have and be part of this team, this building moving forward. We’re really happy and I’m really proud of P.K. today and we can move forward.”
P.K. Subban: “I’d like to thank the Montreal Canadiens and especially Marc Bergevin for his continued co-operation throughout this whole process, his professionalism and most of all his consistency in making sure a deal did get done and I was back with the Montreal Canadiens when all when said and done, which I’m extremely happy and thankful for. This is where my heart is, in Montreal.”
The Two Gals Are Staying
The Habs also announced that Alex Galchenyuk, 18, and Brendan Gallagher, 20, will be remaining on the team. The Canadiens had five games to evaluate Galchenyuk, after which he would have had to go back to junior with the Sarnia Sting. Gallagher had been playing with the Hamilton Bulldogs during the lockout. As coach Michel Therrien said, “They’re here because they deserve it.”