There have been no impulse purchases of luxury items, just the comforting drudgery of work.
In fairness, P.K. Subban was already wealthy enough to afford pretty well any toy he wanted before he signed his eight-year, $72-million contract extension earlier this month. Life, he says, hasn’t really changed.
“It’s funny. The day after I signed, I was back in gym. The reality is that’s what we do, you can’t be complacent in this league,” the 25-year-old Montreal Canadiens rearguard said a few minutes before teeing off at Habs’ coach Michel Therrien’s charity golf event.
“I don’t really miss a day of training during the summer,” he continued. “There’s no secret to anything, you’ve just got to put the time in.”
The Habs will open training camp in a few weeks without a team captain, and Subban was non-committal when asked if the job is one he’d like. (There was a lot of that going around: Both Therrien and general manager Marc Bergevin said it’s too early to think about such things.).
“At the end of the day it’s management’s decision,” said Subban, who was also asked by a reporter to road-test his French – a small sample size, but it was solid.
This being Montreal, the contract extension and how it came to pass are still top-of-mind. Arbitration can be a bruising process – it does, after all, involve your employer running you down to your face – but Subban didn’t see it that way.
“I’ll tell you something, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before in my career … it was a very healthy process for me, there’s no negative,” he said. “It was a little unsettling to hear some of the things that were said about management and Marc [Bergevin]. I understand, but it was still disturbing to me.”
Ah yes, the things that were said.
They include, but aren’t limited to: Bergevin doesn’t know what he’s doing, and the organization is recklessly risking its relationship with a marquee asset.
The loose talk has grown louder since Subban signed his deal on Aug. 2.
A Montreal Gazette columnist this week suggested Habs owner Geoff Molson “overruled” Bergevin after the two sides concluded an arbitration hearing on Aug. 1. It’s something other media outlets have hinted at.
As ever, the developments surrounding Subban have a way of getting amplified. The GM insists it’s all just noise. “I don’t watch TV, I don’t listen to the news,” said Bergevin, who sported a salt-and-pepper beard.
As to the fan and media pressure to get a deal done, he said “at my place, in my condo, there wasn’t any.”
Still, the GM was asked to expand on Molson’s involvement, and he dutifully obliged.
“For every contract I do, whether it’s an entry-level contract or one of the magnitude of P.K.’s, I’m in contact with the owner. I tell him my intentions so he knows where I’m headed, and Geoff supports me 100 per cent. All the decisions are made by me and the hockey personnel,” he said, later adding that in his job interview, “I told Geoff I would tell him everything, but the decisions are mine. And he said yes. It’s one of the reasons I came to Montreal … I can’t ask for a better person to work for than Geoff Molson.”
With that bit of business out of the way, it was time to settle who among the Habs – and assorted Penguins, Avalanche and Wild in attendance – has the best golf swing.
“[Brandon] Prust is going to say it’s him, I don’t think he’s the best golfer at all. Probably Davey [Desharnais],” Subban said. “I haven’t seen that [P.A.] Parenteau guy golf yet … I’m going to put a little pressure on him to see how he responds. He’s new to Montreal, so he’s got to get used to the pressure.”