P.K. Subban is one of the best defencemen in the National Hockey League and has been the Montreal Canadiens best player this season, one of the team's worst in recent memory.
However, Louis Jean of TVA Sports has said that his name has come up in trade talks and the Canadiens are "gauging interest."
Did the rounds to find out if Subban is on the market. One team executive said "his name has come up". @TVASports— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) February 19, 2016
Not suggesting #Canadiens will trade Subban. Just saying one team confirmed #Habs are "gauging the market".— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) February 19, 2016
Now, there's a big difference between gauging interest, having his name come up and actually making a move. But the idea that the Canadiens are instigating trade talks for Subban is ridiculous.
We've been down this road before. Before the 2013 draft there were reports, or maybe that's too strong. There were people contemplating trading Subban for the first overall pick expecting the team to take Seth Jones.
There were people even a few weeks ago saying that the Canadiens should trade P.K. Subban for an upgrade at forward or a number one centre.
That's shortsighted at best. Sure the Canadiens could use a top line forward that Subban would command. But then you would be left with a defence that would rely on who, exactly? Andrei Markov? Jeff Petry? Nathan Beaulieu? Alexei Emelin?
The hole that would be left on the defence would be even bigger than the current hole at forward. There is no way you should entertain that trade.
So maybe a forward isn't a great idea. What about a bunch of draft picks and rebuild this team? For this idea, I'll defer to Family Guy.
People get bored with greatness and when that happens, they don't notice it. People are bored with Subban. They don't like his personality and see his turnovers and think he's replaceable.
Here's the thing: he's not. You could get a bunch of draft picks and hope that one of them becomes a $9 million defenceman who wins at least one Norris Trophy. But you know what? You already have one of those. And not only that, but this one is a pillar of the Montreal community. He has made the biggest gift that a Canadian athlete has ever made.
Say what you want about Subban the player. Say what you want about how Subban is in the dressing room. I don't buy it. I would rather a team of 23 P.K. Subban's coached by a P.K. Subban with P.K. Subban as a general manager than any of the alternatives.
Maybe that's a little extreme, but that's exactly my point. Would you trade Carey Price for a forward? Would you trade Carey Price for a bunch of draft picks? Would you hope that the mystery box you get for Subban ends up being another Subban?
Because that's what you would be doing.
If you want to have year after year of mediocrity or worse, you trade Subban and then you trade the guy you get who ends up being the next Subban and you repeat that for 30 years. If you want to win a Stanley Cup, you keep P.K. Subban for the rest of his contract and don't even entertain the notion of trading him. Especially when you're Marc Bergevin and you have the roster of the Montreal Canadiens.
P.K. Subban is a lot of things, but trade bait is not one of them. At least he shouldn't be for any general manager of an NHL franchise, or at least the NHL franchise that I care about.