Three years after trade, P.K. Subban's tie to Montreal Children's Hospital remains strong
The Montreal Canadiens may have traded P.K. Subban over three years ago, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing it considering how often the popular defenceman is in town.
Subban made one of his regular pilgrimages to Montreal on Thursday, thrilling some young players with an appearance at a hockey clinic at LCC.
While Subban was infamously sent to Nashville in exchange for now-Habs captain Shea Weber he said still receives a warm welcome when he’s in town.
“Everything that’s gone on this week has been very organic,” he said. “It’s been filled with lots of love, and a lot of smiles and happiness. A lot of welcomes and welcome homes and welcome back and we miss you. It’s always positive when I can come back and have that feeling personally.”
Still, he insists the real gratification comes from the charity work that accompanies his visits. Aside from the clinic Subban and his girlfriend, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, will be taking part in a charity spin class and brunch at TMR’s Cadence Cycle on Saturday, with money raised going towards Subban’s $10 million pledge to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
“My team has done a phenomenal job. We’ve already raised a lot of money, over $300,000 this week and we’re looking to raise a lot more at the spinathon on Saturday,” he said. “There’s nothing to be bitter about.”
Since his departure Subban has maintained a regular presence at the Children’s Hospital, where he often visited during his time with the Habs. During Christmas time, it became routine for Subban to treat kids at both the MCH and a children’s hospital in Nashville, one year even helping kids at both facilities to become pen pals. Subban said he hopes to visit the atrium at the MCH that bears his name.
“I think about the faces of the kids and the doctors and nurses,” he said. “I look forward to seeing their faces, if I’m not seeing their faces, I’m hoping the reason is because they got better and moved on. There’s a lot of kids I still stay in touch with.”
Living through another trade
On the ice, it's been a tumultuous off-season for Subban. In June during the NHL draft, Nashville sent Subban to the New Jersey Devils. The oft-outspoken Subban didn't hold back in criticizing pundits who speculated about what led to the trade, but maintained a positive attitude towards his new on-ice home.
"Everybody's going to have their opinion of it, what I should be feeling or what I might be thinking but a lot of people don't know. For me, it's part of the business. I'm sure every player would love to play for one team but it's also great to see what it's like on other teams. I think that's how you grow and how you learn."
As for his fans still in Montreal, he still has lots of love, no matter what uniform he's wearing.
"You guys have always continued to support me and all I try to do is be real," he said. "I stand my ground when I say I never changed as a person. For me, it's just about growth as a person and understanding what you want to accomplish in your life and what kind of legacy you want to have."