Subban: Sticking with Montreal ‘wasn’t about the dollar signs’

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P.K. Subban insists that contract negotiations and the salary arbitration process weren’t personal. Instead, his latest talks with the Montreal Canadiens were “educational.”

(Others would use words like “profitable” being that the end result was an eight-year, $72 million blockbuster.)

As much as hearings can leave emotional bruises, the 25-year-old defenseman sounds excited to remain with the Canadiens and emphatically stated that there are no hard feelings on his end. He said that staying with Montreal is all he ever “really wanted.”

“It wasn’t about the dollar signs,” Subban said. “Listen, If I could do a 20-year contract with Montreal, I would.”

Subban joked that he wanted a long-term deal before he “deserved one.” He also showed quite a bit of savvy about what goes into contract negotiations, mentioning projections of salary cap increases related to TV deals and other factors. He even said all the right things about learning things from the more judgmental part of the arbitration process.

Maybe most importantly, he emphasized that he believes that his relationship with GM Marc Bergevin, head coach Michel Therrien and team president Geoff Molson remains strong.

“I think it’s a strong commitment … It sends a strong message to me that they want me here and appreciate everything that I’ve done to this point. They believe in me as a player,” Subban said. “People don’t have to speculate about how the Montreal Canadiens feel about me.”

As much as Subban said all the right things, he didn’t confirm or deny the existence of a no-movement or no-trade clause, stating that he’s leaving those kind of details to his agent Don Meehan.

With the contract talk out of the way, people can get back to what really matters: wondering if he’s worth what he’s currently getting paid.