Former Montreal forward Erik Cole says there’s nothing to rumors that he was at odds with P.K. Subban prior to being dealt to Dallas.
“I think that’s false,” Cole told Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette. “I don’t think that P.K. and I were in conflict.
“If we were, I don’t think P.K. would have tried to call my phone when I sent a group text to the guys informing them of the trade, that he’d have reached out to me after the fact.”
It’s unclear where the rumor came from, though one can probably guess.
After ending his contract holdout in late January, Subban received what the Canadian Press called a “surprisingly chilly” reception from Habs teammates, namely Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges.
This played into the theme of Subban’s *alleged* inability to get along with older teammates.
Specifically, the fights.
Oh, the fights.
Last February, the 23-year-old blueliner got into a practice scrap with David Desharnais, who became the third in a trilogy of veteran sparring partners (Subban also took on Mathieu Darche and, perhaps most famously, Tomas Plekanec.)
Subban’s also received his fair share of criticism for being brash, confident-bordering-on-cocky and overtly demonstrative, things that reportedly rubbed veterans the wrong way.
But there’s also something to be said about the misconception of Subban’s relationship with elder statesmen.
Back in 2011, much ado was made of the “feud” Subban supposedly had with veteran defenseman Hal Gill, only for it to later be revealed as a joke gone bad (or, misinterpreted by a reporter not familiar with the Subban-Gill relationship.)
As for Cole, he’s saying all the right things — publicly, anyway — about his former teammate.
“I sent him a text message, telling him, ‘Keep it simple, make the simple play and before you know it, you’ll be at the NHL awards,'” Cole told the Gazette. “That’s the truth, he’s that good of a player. P.K. is still figuring it out. He has all the talent in the world.
“It hasn’t all come together yet, but hopefully, it will.”