Typically when a team gets wind that they are set to receive one of their best players back to the lineup the news would be followed by some cheers and excitement. Unless of course that player is P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens.
Subban recently signed a new two-year deal worth $5.75 million to end his holdout as a restricted free agent. Subban is certainly excited to return to the ice, but his teammates don’t appear to be sharing that same joy. This leaving one to wonder if Subban has ruined his welcome in Montreal.
The Canadian Press uses the word “chilly” when describing the atmosphere inside the Habs dressing room after hearing the news that Subban would be returning.
Players refused to discuss the signing, including veteran Andrei Markov who has gotten off to a flourishing start in the wake of Subban’s absence.
“He’s not in the room yet, so let’s talk about it when he’s going to be in the room.”
Subban’s own defence partner, Josh Gorges, tiptoed around the questions, all but confirming that Subban is not a popular player with his teammates.
“Like I said, it’s good that it’s over and done with and it’s settled. We don’t have to have these talks in the morning of what-if-this and what-if-that. It’s over. We can focus on playing hockey.”
Not exactly the reaction Gorges might give considering Subban’s talents and the fact that he’s paired up with the star.
The CP also highlights the cold hard truth that no teammate from last year’s team sent a congratulatory text message to Subban, instead it was a handful of players who weren’t around last season and joined the Canadiens during the offseason.
Subban loves the spotlight and he loves to talk. So much so that teammates are seen rolling their eyes when he’s performing for the cameras. Some consider him arrogant with his on ice antics and flare for the dramatic, others elude it to confidence. Either way, it will be interesting to see how the Canadiens play with Subban back in the lineup. This is a team that has won four straight games without his services and if his teammates aren’t thrilled to have him back, will that carry over to their performances on the ice?
Maybe there’s a reason why no other club was even remotely interested in signing Subban to an offer sheet. Maybe the rumors we hear are true about him not being a good dressing room guy and can ruin the atmosphere and positive vibes that a team has going. Or maybe he’s just so confident that these teammates are envious of their newly signed star.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how the Habs mesh with Subban back in their lineup. Chilly or not, it’s worth watching.