P.K. Subban has suddenly become a major part of trade speculation.
The Canadiens’ No. 1 defenseman could very well be on the move, according to multiple sources. Subban, 27, recently signed an eight-year, $72 million pact, which is set to begin next Friday.
There has been plenty of speculation about Subban possibly being dealt, especially since his no-move clause also kicks in come July 1, meaning Montreal won’t be able to move him until 2022.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin did little to deny any trade rumors when word first broke out, but he eventually denied any trade chatter. It was also reported that Montreal isn’t shopping Subban, though many teams are calling:
No word from Habs GM Marc Bergevin denying Subban trade talks. Has this gone too far to reel back in?
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) June 23, 2016
Canadiens are not shopping Subban but other teams are indeed calling and more frequently as July 1 no-movement clause approaches… — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 22, 2016
Subban scored six goals and added 45 assists for 51 points last season and averaged 26:22 time on ice for Montreal.
If the Habs decide to move Subban — something which seems highly unlikely — here are three destinations that would make sense.
Edmonton was the biggest team linked to a possible Subban trade and reports surfaced that Montreal was asking for the club’s No. 4 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft as well as young center Leon Draisaitl, who notched 19 goals and 51 points in his first full season for the Oilers.
Adding Subban would be a huge improvement to a shaky Edmonton blue line and give other team’s nightmares when the blueliner is on the ice with explosive young center Connor McDavid.
Someone around the Oilers organization just confirmed to me that the Canadiens asked for Draisaitl and the 4 pick for Subban!
— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) June 23, 2016
Vancouver was another team linked to Subban and general manager Jim Benning even said he had some talks about bringing the defenseman on board.
“It’s a long way from completing a deal like that,” Benning told TSN Radio, according to Montreal CTV News, adding he engaged in talks to land Subban.
It’ll be a make or break offseason for the Canucks as they look to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since losing in seven games in 2011 to the Bruins. With the Sedin twins getting older, the window to build around them and earn a Stanley Cup is closing.
The Canucks have the No. 5 overall pick in the draft and could include that in a package deal for Subban.
3) Maple Leafs
Re-building Toronto can never be ruled out given Subban is an Ontario native, but the club would certainly have to part with assets it may be using to build toward the future.
There are also cap concerns for the Maple Leafs, who have just north of $7 million available, according to Spotrac, so they’d have to do some maneuvering to facilitate a deal. It’s hard to foresee the Maple Leafs parting with their No. 1 overall pick which undoubtedly will be used to bring in all-world center Auston Matthews, so it could be a long-shot. Still, Toronto could be a nice fit for Subban.
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