P.K. Subban: ‘I’m not trying to change the game of hockey’


P.K. Subban has emerged as one of the most electrifying players in the National Hockey League, playing the game at a frenetic and entertaining pace, bordering on reckless at times, one could definitely argue.

It seems like a fact of life that with star quality — on and off the ice — comes controversy. He’s a polarizing figure in the game. A difference of opinion on a player or a team isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, the racism directed at him on social media during the playoffs, has no place in the game or in life.

It’s next to impossible to deny his talent, considering at 25 years of age, he’s coming off a career season with the Habs, a team that upset the Boston Bruins in an emotionally charged seven-game series in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Subban played an integral role. He scored four times in the series, and averaged a point per game. He managed to frustrate his opponents — just ask Shawn Thornton.

And when despicable morons attacked him through social media with racial slurs because of the color of his skin, Subban handled it with the utmost class.

This summer, with his stock still on the rise following a breakout 2013-14 campaign that also saw him named to Canada’s gold-medal winning Olympic hockey team, Subban signed an eight-year, $72 million contract.

That was after an arbitration hearing, but before the presiding judge could make a ruling. And, with Brian Gionta now a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Subban could be in the running to become the Habs’ new captain.

While the 2013 Norris Trophy winner has become a star in the NHL — the league could use a few more players like him — he still strives to be himself.

“I’m not trying to change the game of hockey, I’m trying to be who I am, but the difference is when you’re an impactful player it does change things,” Subban told NHL.com.

“It does because there is a following in the NHL. Do I bring qualities that maybe the NHL hasn’t had before? Maybe. And people might find that appealing. That’s OK. But more than anything, I respect the NHL. I respect the game, the players in the game.

“That’s why I’m able to carry myself the way I do, because I have a respect for the game that the players before me, the legends before me, the superstars before me will all appreciate.”