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Monday, January 14, 2013

What Is P.K. Subban Really Worth?


By Coach K and Francois Dumais

Since the announcement of an agreement in principle between the NHL and the Players’ Association, Habs’ fans have had one thing on their minds:

How long before the Canadiens sign RFA defenseman P.K. Subban?

With the recent signing by the New York Rangers of Michael Del Zotto, who is represented by the same agent as Subban, Don Meehan, the comparables game has once again come front and centre. Del Zotto signed a two-year, $5.1 Million contract on January 13th, 2013.

There are many in the media who claim that Subban is using L.A. Kings’ defensive stalwart Drew Doughty, and his eight-year, $56 Million contract as a viable comparable. 

That leaves a huge gap between those comparables alone ($4,450,000 per season). However, numbers can’t define the importance of P.K. Subban alone.

With the announcement by Habs’ GM Marc Bergavin that he has no intention of trading P.K. Subban, it concretizes his importance in the future plans of the Canadiens. After all, Subban was on the ice an average of 39.7% of the time last season.

The Stats Don’t Lie

If you want to talk about comparables, you need only look at four of the NHL’s youngest defensemen. For the purposes of this article, we added John Carlson of the Washington Capitals to the mix, along with Del Zotto, Doughty and Subban.

Strictly from an offensive perspective, Subban finished behind our other examples in goals with seven, although he had 29 assists, giving him second behind Del Zotto. If he and his agent want to use Drew Doughty as a primary comparable, it doesn’t bode well for P.K. Over the past three seasons, he’s averaged 20 points less than the Kings’ D-man. That said, his points-per-game is mere 0.03 behind Doughty, due to Subban’s limited use in his first NHL season.

In overall ice-time, Subban (24:17 per game) is a mere 36 seconds on average behind Doughty (24:53 per game). Subban is second among our four defensemen in terms of TOI on the power play and penalty killing. Michael Del Zotto (PP) and John Carlson (PK) lead those respective categories.

Last 20 Games May Be Subban’s Best Case

Using a smaller sample size from last season, that being the last 20 games of their respective seasons, Subban takes the lead over our four other defensemen in goals, assists and points (4-9-13). Doughty and Del Zotto were behind him with three goals, six assists and nine points respectively.

While Del Zotto led our group on the power play with an average of 4:35 TOI (Time On Ice) per game, P.K. was right behind him in second with 3:39 TOI per game. On the penalty kill, while Doughty had a TOI per game of 2:00, Subban had a whopping 3:39 TOI per game. Overall, Subban led everyone in overall TOI per game with an average of almost 26 minutes.

Top 10 Among His Peers

If you look at Subban’s overall ranking among his NHL peers, he is ranked sixth from the top 50 defensemen in the league from an offensive perspective, with an overall score of 723. Only Zdeno Chara (BOS), Shea Weber (NSH), Kevin Shattenkirk (STL), Dan Boyle (SJS) and Alex Pietrangelo (STL) are ranked ahead of him. Doughty ranked 26th, while Del Zotto ranked 14th.

So What Does He Deserve To Be Paid?

If you look at our comparibles, there are solid arguments from both sides of the coin. The Rangers have a much stronger supporting cast on defense for Del Zotto than the Canadiens have for Subban. P.K.’s importance is just as high to the Habs as that of Doughty to the Kings.

If Subban and Don Meehan want to be fair to everyone, including themselves, then an average salary of $4.5 Million is a reasonable number, in our opinion, to ask for. As far as length of term is concerned, with the wealth of defensive prospects in the Canadiens’ organization, signing Subban for more than three years would be a colossal mistake.

Ultimately, it’s a question of organizational importance…for Subban. Does he want to be part of the refit of the league’s most storied franchise, or does he want to think of himself first? Compare what you will, only time will really tell.

15 comments:

I've always loved PK. I think he has incredible potential. However, with each passing day I lose some respect. If he holds out and gets more than he deserves, his arrogance along with the pressure in Montreal will destroy what could've been a remarkable career.

See.. "holding out" for more than 2 years (which is all the Habs are offering) doesn't seem evil or selfish to me. Maybe its not the money they are far apart on. Maybe Subban wants a longer term, so he can settle down in Montreal, start a family, whatever...
If Montreal is saying "2 years, take it or leave it we don't care" and Subban wants to put down roots.. Who can really blame him for wanting what's important to him? Montreal likes these "Bridge" contracts and forces them on their players. Not all organizations do this, and not all players want this. How does that make Subban less deserving of respect?

Not sure I buy the argument that P K is more important to the Canadiens than Del Zotto is to the Rangers. Del Zotto, Stahl and maybe Girardi are the only Rangers dmen that could make the Habs roster. With Markov looking healthy and fit, Gorges and (don't laugh) yes Kaberle showing up in camp 15-20 lbs lighter, maybe P K isn't as indispensable as he thinks that he is.

You have Subban's Average points over the last 3 seasons at 25 because you are counting his 2 pts in 2 games in 09-10 season. That skews the numbers rather dramatically in favour of Doughty. The reality is that he's averaged 37pts a season, Doughty has averaged 40pts a season in the NHL mostly on the back of his one big season. Over the same time frame as Subban 10-12 Doughty averages 38pts.

Subban is very comparable to Doughty

I read a lot of subban this subban that... Mr Subban is not the one doing the negotiation. His agent runs the show and his agent has 30yrs of experience in the business. I think that Mr.Mehan is doing his Job. I think that the habs are trying to minimized PK importance after offering a long term 4.5 to Max Pac a good player who really had 1 good season!!! and Big bucks to Carey Price..who is nothing but hype so far …(he lost his job to Halak remember)... PK had 2 solid season in Defense... but they want to give him short term min $... obviously they do NOT value him…. If im subban I take a one yr contract and I get out of this place… nothing like plying at a place where you are appreciated…I see subban in edmonton …they have a nice young talented group and they would value him… seems like the habs have a bunch of older stuck up players who are very quiet…they cant handle a young happy loud hardworking kid…the press in mtl blows everything out of proportion and puts pressure on young players… Mr Mehan can read between the lines… when the GM give long term contracts to MaxP and Price and big buck to Prust…you have to ask yourself some question here….how about the star Defensemen? I read a lot of subban this subban that... Mr Subban is not the one doing the negotiation. His agent runs the show and his agent has 30yrs of experience in the business. I think that Mr.Mehan is doing his Job. I think that the habs are trying to minimized PK importance after offering a long term 4.5 to Max Pac a good player who really had 1 good season!!! and Big bucks to Carey Price..who is nothing but hype so far …(he lost his job to Halak remember)... PK had 2 solid season in Defense... but they want to give him short term min $... obviously they do NOT value him…. If im subban I take a one yr contract and I get out of this place… nothing like plying at a place where you are appreciated…I see subban in edmonton …they have a nice young talented group and they would value him… seems like the habs have a bunch of older stuck up players who are very quiet…they cant handle a young happy loud hardworking kid…the press in mtl blows everything out of proportion and puts pressure on young players… Mr Mehan can read between the lines… when the GM give long term contracts to MaxP and Price and big buck to Prust…you have to ask yourself some question here….how about the star Defensemen?

-SJ

Pactroitty , gorges, and price waited why can't subban he's just as necessary to the habs as they r. so he should wait or get traded. I'm getting tired of people wanting a long term contract like gomez got , think about it. and yeah i love pk to but he's not the hole team!!

MTL fans are dumb. Can't even spell 'whole'

Who knows really what the hell is going on with the contract talks! One thing's for sure though: If more GMs, (like Bergevin) were responsible and realistic about the way they negotiate contracts, and less players/agents were (like PK) trying to negotiate based on comparisons to other contracts that should’ve never happened in the first place, the lockout would’ve never happened.

During the lockout, players (and fans siding with players) were saying "it's all GMs' fault for spending money on players irresponsibly and now they're facing deficits" - These Subban/Habs negotiation is an excellent example of how players played their roll (along with owners/GMs) in this "stupid signing/spending” that’s been going on since last lock-out.

PK is a good and potentially promising Dman, but I say 3 – 4 mil for 2 yrs – anything more, and he can go annoy players in another dressing room.

....and Toronto fans can't find any interesting stories about their team. go habs go !!

give him 5 million, but fighting with teamates take 500k, fighting with coaching staff take 500k and making teammates fight with each other take 500k away and he will be down to 2 million where he should be. because you now if they give in to him a big new contract look out when he arrives.I hope it is soon i cant stand looking at him at the Bulls games....

And that little dance # subban and price do is not a team dance it shouldn't continue when he does return. it should be a team tradition not individual gratification.

after watching subban skate and play i figure given a little time to improve and grow with age and experience he will be one of the great defence men for montreal and the NHL.

PK Subban is nowhere near Drew Doughty. The points maybe close but he is here to the North Pole in proximity defensively. I think the guy should be happy with 4.5 million per year over 3 years. Prove your worth over that time and then come looking for 6 million per year.

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