Sometimes there are things that are more important than hockey. For PK Subban, he got an up-close and personal look at some of those things thing week when he traveled down to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with former Habs pugilist Georges Laraque. The city is still trying to recover from the devastating earthquake that rocked the island nation 18 months ago.
For Subban, it was the first time he’s been to a “poor country” or anywhere in the Caribbean. The trip put life and hockey in their proper perspective:
“It makes you value things,” he said. “It gives me a different perspective on life.
“I’ve never seen a country like that. I’ve never seen a city in that state. Seeing people in that state is definitely going to have an effect on you. It’s had a huge effect on me. I’m going to take back my experience here and the knowledge that I’ve gained and I’m going to share it with my family and friends because it’s definitely a life-changing experience.”
The trip for Laraque and Subban was specifically to visit Grace Children’s Hospital on behalf of Hockey for Haiti. The cause, which is sponsored by World Vision Canada, has already collected $1.3 million to help rebuild the Children’s hospital that was damaged beyond repair in the quake. Subban continued to explain the current conditions he saw with his own two eyes upon visiting:
“There’s not much left of the old one — the roof has collapsed,” said Subban, who was due to return on Thursday night. “They are still running some medical facilities on that side of the street, but they’re not operating facilities.
“It’s just the only way to do it. They need a hospital. But as a temporary facility, I was truly amazed with what they’ve done.”
Subban gets plenty of criticism for his antics on the ice. He’s heard criticism that he’s immature and that he doesn’t respect his opponents like he should from both the media and opposing players. But in this case, the 22-year-old is presenting a path than so many more NHL players could follow. There’s a good chance that next season will present a entirely new set of controversies for the polarizing Canadiens defenseman—but this offseason he deserves a little love. It’s good to see a younger player jumping at the chance to do something good with his time.
We will now return you to your regularly scheduled offseason free agent news…