PK Subban roasts Canadiens at Just for Laughs benefit gala
PK Subban was met with thunderous applause and chants of ‘PK!’ as he took the stage at the final Just for Laughs gala Monday night.
Sporting a pink three-piece suit and his characteristic smile plastered on his face, Subban got the crowd at the sold-out show laughing right off the bat by poking fun at the elephant in the room.
"I went to Europe this summer and while I was there I did all the things a normal Canadian would do: I drank good wine, I hung out at beautiful beaches, and got traded for Shea Weber."
Subban was ruthless towards his former team, saying he has embraced Nashville by dedicating a couple of country songs to his former teammates and managers.
"There's this great song by Zach Paxson that I'd like to send out to all my former teammates trying to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal by playing under Michel Therrien's system. You know what that's called: Good luck with that!"
Subban also had some words for General Manager Marc Bergevin.
"Just to show there's no hard feelings I gifted him this great song called Take this job and shove it," said Subban.
“I know what you’re all thinking, I’m just as surprised as you are,” said Subban to the audience at Place des Arts.
“Right off the bat, let me just say that I also can’t believe this happened. I mean obviously I’d heard the rumours, but like most of you, I thought they were just that, rumours. I mean it’s Montreal, right?” he said, comfortable right away with the new role as stand-up comedian. “So when my agent actually called me and said, ‘PK, I just want to let you know you’ve been booked… to host a Just for Laughs gala, I couldn’t believe it. I was fired up, I was floored.”
Subban took a jab at his new home south of the border in Nashville as well.
“If there’s one thing I’ve tried to do in all the cities I’ve played in, it’s immerse myself in the local culture. In Belleville, I learned how to sail, when I moved to Montreal, I learned how to speak French – right ladies? And in Hamilton, I learned how to breathe through my mouth,” he joked, as the audience laughed. “So now that I’m living in Nashville, it’s time I learned more about…” he said, baiting the audience… before he hit the punchline: “That’s right, getting pulled over by the cops.”
Proceeds from the PK Subban All-Star Comedy Gala will be going to the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, to which Subban has pledged to fundraise $10 million.
“I approached him and said, ‘Let's do something, raise money for his foundation for the children,’ he said yes and it's been a blast ever since,” said Just for Laughs COO Bruce Hills.
“It's just another way for us to raise money for children and for a good cause,” said Subban.
Monday's event raised $130,000 from ticket sales, and from special Just For Laughs jerseys.
Subban, who visited the hospital on a weekly basis while living in Montreal, said he will do what he can to keep the connection he has made with many patients.
“It's up to my team and the hospital to make them feel comfortable about it and to understand that I'm not leaving. I'm leaving to play hockey but I'm not leaving them,” he said.
He said he knew many of the kids were unhappy about the trade but that he is working hard to show them that while he is leaving Montreal to play hockey, he's not abandoning his commitment to the hospital.
"I have my ways of reconnecting with the children and with the hospital and I don't want to give anything away, but I had the opportunity to be able to connect with them and we're going to do that shortly," said Subban.
"I don't want to ruin it, so they should be expecting something."
Subban hosted the final gala of the Just for Laughs festival at Place des Arts, something that was arranged well before the June 29th announcement that he was being sent to the Predators.
Subban may have been traded to Nashville by the Canadiens, but said Montreal will always have a place in his heart.
On Monday evening he Subban said he always knew being traded was a possibility, no matter what General Manager Marc Bergevin said to the contrary.
"I knew there was a lot of chatter leading up to the draft and free agency, for me I thought that where there's smoke there's fire," said Subban.
"Nobody ever told me I would be traded but when you see the rumours and you start getting messages from reporters and all this stuff you figure that something's going on."
Regardless of his move, and his quick adaptation to his new southern home, Subban will always be connected to Montreal.
“It's something that I didn't expect to happen this summer, but it happened and it's part of the business. But in no shape or form did I ever believe that in any point in time I wouldn't be able to fulfill my commitment that I made to the community here,” he said.