Just a few moments after the announcement of his scheduled arbitration hearing, Malcolm Subban won’t need it anymore. The young goaltender has re-signed with the Vegas Golden Knights on a one-year deal worth $850K. Golden Knights executive George McPhee released this statement:
We are pleased to announce this one-year contract for Malcolm. He’s been a valuable contributor to our team over the last two seasons. We are excited to continue to work with Malcolm and help him reach his full potential as an NHL goaltender.
Subban, 25, is set to return as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup next season and get another chance at really establishing himself in the NHL. Though he has played 43 games for the Golden Knights the last two seasons, he has just a 21-14-4 record and .906 save percentage. While that’s good enough to start the odd game, it’s not exactly positioning himself to take over as the full-time starter should Fleury’s age catch up with him at some point. If he ever wants that role, he’ll have to improve his consistency dramatically this year.
For the Golden Knights though, it was unlikely they were going to find a substantially better option on the open market for this type of contract. The near-minimum salary is exactly what they needed as they continue to deal with cap issues, and if another opportunity presents itself Subban’s deal can be entirely buried in the minor leagues. Betting that the 2012 first-round pick can improve as he enters the usual prime goaltending years isn’t a bad one either, especially knowing that depth goaltending hits waivers frequently throughout the year.
Subban will be a restricted free agent again next summer with arbitration rights.