Fans, pundits dismayed as Habs go to arbitration against Subban
Hockey fans and pundits continued to express disappointment and dismay Friday as the Canadiens and P.K. Subban failed to reach a deal prior to the kick-off of their arbitration hearing Friday morning in Toronto.
Many had expected both sides to agree to a new pact before the often-divisive process began but representatives of the Canadiens and Subban went through with the ordeal which saw each given 90 minutes to articulate their case.
It was widely reported that Subban was asking for $8.5 million per season and the team offering a one-year deal for $5.25. The arbitrator will have to choose one deal or the other.
If the one-year pact were to be imposed, the two sides could return to the same process next year.
Subban is represented by agent Don Meehan, while the Canadiens' negotiation team is headed by General Manager Marc Bergevin.
The process is often considered hurtful because the team is expected to use its time to point out the weaknesses of its player, which is often unappreciated. It is said, however, that teams will sometimes avoid such damage by using their 90 minutes to sit in silence without saying a word until their time runs out.
Montrealers interviewed by CTV Montreal Friday mostly sided with Subban, as Maya Johnson noted in a tweet.
Hockey columnist Eric Engels questioned the Canadiens for their failure to come to terms with the star defenceman, describing it as, "an insanely large failure on Bergevin and Molson."
Engels is one of many who believe that Subban should be signed to a long-term deal at the higher rate.
"The Habs have the greatest marketing vehicle in the league and one of the most prominent talents the game's ever seen in Subban, and their success largely depends on him--and they've treated him with negligible respect," he wrote on his Facebook page Friday.
My uneducated opinion from afar: MTL likes, maybe really likes, Subban but doesn't LOVE him. And you have to LOVE someone at 8 x $8-9M+ per.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) August 1, 2014
Sports are strange business sometimes. Montreal had no problem overpaying fourth line forwards but won't with franchise cornerstone Subban.— Jeff Angus (@anguscertified) August 1, 2014
PK Subban is amongst the top handful defensemen in the league by basically any discernible measure. This really shouldn't be hard to grasp.— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) August 1, 2014
imagine your D core without PK Subban. That just scares the crap out of me— James Stephan (@J_Habs) August 1, 2014
I would go as far as to say this is a fireable offense by Bergevin. #Habs— Daniel Friedman (@DFriedmanOnNYI) August 1, 2014
It's probably not as dire as it seems, and the two sides might eventually get past this, but the Subban situation is a big, hot mess.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) August 1, 2014