P.K. Subban didn't need to win the Norris Trophy last night to cement his status as one of the NHL's elite players, he's been doing that with his play for three years already, but it was a nice feather in the cap to reward him for all the work he's put in to make himself stand out from the crowd.
But Subban is more than just a great player, he's more important in Montreal than that, because he signals the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. The destruction of the Montreal Canadiens by Ronald Corey, Serge Savard, and Rejean Houle in the 90's decimated the club to the point where as a young kid, it was very hard to keep a vested interest in the Habs.
Every year the Canadiens were badly outplayed and badly outshot, relying on great goaltending and lucky goalscoring, then blaming a young Finnish captain for a cup drought he wasn't responsible for. Subban's arrival on the team full time in the 2010-11 season was the end of this era.
Coupled with Max Pacioretty breaking out, Subban and the Canadiens all of a sudden began to outplay opponents when just the year before they were the ones being outplayed. And even better than that, the Habs had a star to call their own.
Make no mistake, Carey Price has earned the star label for himself for past accomplishments, and he's made saves that have made me jump out of my seat, but he hasn't been able to cement himself as among the best of the best as yet. At least not consistently.
Subban though, makes you feel it in your gut, in your heart, in your head. He dominates every facet of the game, controls the pace, and makes plays others don't dare dream of. Subban is the first player on the Montreal Canadiens since Patrick Roy that's so good, other fanbases despise him.
How good is Subban? Well you already know the fancy stats, but let's look how he compares to former Habs greats.
Subban is already 29th in Habs history in goals from defensemen, 33rd in assists, 30th in points, 11th in powerplay goals. This is after just two and a half seasons, and compared to 104 years of history.
If Subban were to repeat his performance from this year in 2013-14, he could rank as high as 15th in team history in goals scored from defensemen, after just three and a half seasons!
Of defensemen to play 200 or more games for the Habs, P.K. Subban scores the 8th most goals per game in team history, just behind Larry Robinson.
For points, it's even more dramatic, as Subban sits 5th in team history in points per game behind just Chelios, Lapointe, Robinson, and teammate Andrei Markov.
Subban brings you out of your seat the way people wanted Kovalev to, he's not just a superstar, he's our superstar.