P.K. Subban

Subban not eager to discuss contract talks


If you’re wondering how contract negotiations are going between the Montreal Canadiens and P.K. Subban, you’re not going to find out from the 2013 Norris Trophy winner.

Subban was in attendance at the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament in Montreal on Saturday and spoke with reporters briefly, but wasn’t eager to discuss how talks were going in getting a new deal done as Bill Beacon of The Canadian Press (via TSN) shared.

“I’ll answer one question about the negotiation: It’s been kept pretty quiet the whole time and it’s going to remain that way until a deal’s done,” Subban said. “As of right now, I’m just trying to enjoy the day and not think of anything.”

Subban is scheduled to go to arbitration with the Canadiens on Friday, August 1 if the two sides can’t get a deal done by then. With a week to go, that’s plenty of time for both sides to come to an agreement.

Subban is coming off a two-year, $5.75 million deal signed out of the lockout. Chances are very likely that Subban, now with a NHL award under his belt, will command more than that per year in his next contract.

If a deal isn’t done before Wednesday, we’ll find out where both sides stand in negotiations in arbitration as they have to submit what they believe should be paid out as a reward. The smart move for Montreal is to get a long-term deal done before anyone has to go to court.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?