In return to Montreal, Subban has high praise for Laviolette

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Saying he’s been “lucky enough” to have Jacques Martin, Randy Cunneyworth, and, yes, even Michel Therrien coach him in the NHL, P.K. Subban reserved his highest praise for his current head coach in Nashville, Peter Laviolette.

“Lavy has a really positive attitude,” Subban told a press conference in Montreal ahead of his much-anticipated return to Bell Centre tonight.

“The first thing he said to me when I came was: ‘P.K., I want you to be yourself. I don’t want you to change. We have 22 guys on this team and all 22 guys are different and we want you to be the player that you are and the person that you are,’ and that’s all I needed to hear. So it’s been really positive since I’ve been there.”

Subban’s personality was, of course, a divisive topic during his time with the Canadiens. Though he was lauded for all his charity work, some said he didn’t care enough about winning, that he was more concerned about building his personal brand.

Subban himself labeled his trade to Nashville a “personality trade.”

The more stoic Shea Weber — a “tremendous leader,” according to Habs GM Marc Bergevin — came to Montreal in the blockbuster deal. And when it went down, it was hard not to juxtapose the on-ice and off-ice styles of the two defensemen.

Read more: In talking about Weber, Bergevin said plenty about Subban

Both the Predators and Canadiens enter tonight’s action in a playoff spot. That being said, each team has had its issues. Nashville has battled consistency all season. Montreal started out great, but a stretch of poor play led to the firing of Therrien last month.

Suffice to say, it’s going to be an emotional night at Bell Centre.

Whenever’s Subban’s involved, it usually is.