Before we get started, we know what you're thinking: "How could I ever not hate P.K Subban? I couldn't stand him when he played against the Pens." Two words: Darius Kasparaitis.
This could be the biggest story in the NHL off the ice right now: P.K. Subban and his contract negotiation with the Habs.
Great read here from Adam Getz:
There aren't many defensemen in the NHL as skilled as Subban or as productive at this age. Why the Canadiens are so determined to low-ball their top defenseman (well, I suppose that could be up for some level of debate as long as Andrei Markov stays healthy) and keep him on the sidelines is a mystery.
Mirtle also chimes in with this:
Some team could offer sheet Subban up to $5.04-million AAV and only give up two picks: 1st and 3rd. If it's a late first, why not?
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 26, 2013
You have to wonder when an offer sheet or trade could be coming. Subban has been quoted saying he just wants a deal for what he is worth. In our opinion, it is logical that he'd get a contract similar to Letang's second deal in the NHL.
Quick comparsion between Subban and Letang:
Letang all day, but it is closer than we thought. Subban hits more. Probably a slight edge in style there.
Bob Mac thinks the Habs will trade Subban:
"I think it's ultimately heading toward a trade," said McKenzie. "They're just too far apart on the term of the contract - P.K. wants long, the Canadiens want two years - and they're probably at least $2.5 to $3 million per year apart on where they want to be. Ultimately I think this ends up in a trade."
Could the Pens make a play?
Trading for Subban probably isn't something Shero will do.
Let's look at the Pens cap situation on D:
First column is current season.
As you can see, Letang is booked through 2014, as are Orpik and Niskanen. So next season is already shaping up to be some kind of **** storm. Only D-man signed for 2015 is Paul Martin.
The Pens do have unlimited prospects, but they aren't all going to be up at the same time. It is going to take at least four seasons before we see them all together.
The Penguins could put in an offer sheet for Subban for around five years at $3.5 million, trade Martin in the offseason, and be fine, actually saving themselves in the long run.
Now the Martin/Subban comparison:
Holy ****. All Subban. Not even close.
But we don't think this will happen. Shero is more conservative than anything, and he isn't going to create a mess for himself next season. Plus signing another team's player to an offer sheet is ****** and something only the Flyers do. Shero wouldn't do that.
Also, signing Subban to any contract means telling Orpik he is basically gone after next season. Could make it awkward.
There is also the question of how would you acquire Subban. Getting him on an offer sheet means you would give up picks, which probably would be better than having to trade for him, which would cost prospects, picks, and who knows what else.
The key in this is next year's amenesty buyout. Teams can dump a bad contract next season. So teams with limited cap room, like the Flyers, could easily get Subban then just dump Briere next season.
All of this is speculation, and some of it doesn't make any sense. Glad the NHL is back.