ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted that the Canadiens are receiving a number of calls for defenseman P.K. Subban. The reasoning, LeBrun writes, is twofold. First, most teams are desperate for a top defenseman and the high motor Subban fits the bill. Second, Subban has a no-movement clause in his contract that kicks in on July 1. LeBrun also strongly indicated that the Canadiens are not actively shopping Subban at all. The volume of calls they have increased significantly in the last 48 hours.
LeBrun isn’t the only one reporting this, either. SportsNet’s Chris Johnston wrote this morning about how rumors are swirling but they don’t affect Subban at all. In the article, Subban talked about how much he loves playing in Montreal and how his job is not to worry about rumors and instead, “prepare for the season.” Johnston adds that the 27-year-old defenseman posted his third consecutive 50+ point season and is a fan favorite in hockey mad Montreal. However, following a season where the Habs capitulated after losing all-world goalie Carey Price, Johnston cautions that anything is possible. He also adds that it would take a “mammoth offer” to pry Subban out of Montreal.
LeBrun’s ESPN colleague Craig Custance also indicated that the rumor mill has been “churning” with Subban’s name.
While the no-movement clause marries the Canadiens and Subban for another six seasons, it would be a mighty risk to move him to another team. Subban has yet to reach his prime years as a defenseman, and is considered one of the best defensemen in the league. Aside from costing a significant amount from a willing trading partner, it would take a top scoring forward and something else on the blue line to truly pique their interest. Losing Subban would weaken the Habs blue line, and while their lack of scoring would improve, the back end of the ice would take a hit.
Subban is owed $9MM through the 2021-2022 season after a bridge deal of $2.875MM was signed for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.