Elliotte Friedman is one of the best hockey reporters out there, and even if the Montreal Canadiens weren’t central in his last piece about the 23 minutes that shook up the hockey world, it would be a must-read.
But they were.
In the article, we not only got insight into the P.K. Subban - Shea Weber trade, we got some information about the way the Canadiens were leaning at the NHL Draft as well.
In the first part, about the Taylor Hall - Adam Larsson trade, there were rumours of a three-way trade that would have seen Edmonton move down in the draft from the fourth spot. With that, they would have likely taken Matthew Tkachuk or Canadiens first round pick Mikhail Sergachev.
Later on, he says that the Canadiens had their eye on Pierre-Luc Dubois when thinking of taking a higher draft spot, possibly from the Vancouver Canucks. But once it became clear that he wasn’t getting past the Columbus Blue Jackets at the third pick, those talks cooled.
An unnamed Canadiens player in the article said that Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin think the players are soft mentally and physically. Now, this isn’t news to anyone who listens to them speak in the media but the fact that the players are aware of it can’t be considered a great thing.
There are also details about a contract that was offered just before the Habs and Subban went for arbitration a few years ago. Friedman writes that the team offered P.K. an eight year deal worth $8-8.25 million and were shocked that he didn’t take it.
The team was forced to take Subban to arbitration, and the public turned on the team as soon as the arbitration hearing happened. They would sign Subban’s mega deal shortly after, but the damage was probably already done.
And then there’s the closer. Carey Price was asked about his comments on the trade, and gave some insight into why the Canadiens were keen on moving on from Subban.
“P.K. is an offensive defenceman and a risk-taker. That’s made him successful, that’s the way he plays the game. He doesn’t want to change that and I respect that. I respect the way that he plays the game…his type of enthusiasm and his ability to raise fans out of their seats. That’s a special gift and something that not very many players are able to do. But the way we’re coached on our team, the way our team is structured, that’s not what were looking for. We’re looking for a steady type of defenceman that makes quick plays and is able to move the puck right away. Shea fits that bill perfectly.”
It’s important to note, and something positive is that there is an emphasis on moving the puck right away.
The article also pointed out a bit on Shea Weber, and that he and Price are very excited to play together and even drove from Montreal to Ottawa for Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey training camp together.
Both Marc Bergevin and Subban declined to be interviewed for the story. Check the whole thing out here.