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P.K. Subban saw this one coming.
The NHL world was shocked when the Canadiens dealt their defenseman and leader to the Predators for their captain and fellow blue liner Shea Weber on June 29.
Though Subban’s name popped up in rumors, it was still a shock to see Montreal pull the trigger, especially in exchange for an older defenseman with a lengthy contract.
Even if the deal came as a shock to many, Subban said he had already “accepted” and made peace with the fact that he was likely getting traded. Once the fervent rumors kept on coming, the defenseman saw a trade being inevitable.
“I think I accepted it probably way before it even happened,” Subban told TSN. “In my case the rumors kept escalating and escalating. Montreal’s not a place where rumors stay in house, they seem to kind of fly all over the place.”
Subban, 27, was selected in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft by the Canadiens and is coming off of a season where he notched six goals and a team-high 45 assists. In 434 career games for Montreal, Subban had 63 goals, 215 assists and 278 points while rating a plus-35.
The defenseman won the Norris Trophy as a member of Montreal in 2013 and made it to the Eastern Conference Final twice, but was never able to hoist the Canadiens’ 25th Stanley Cup.
After the deal, reports surfaced that there was a rift in the locker room and specifically a divide between Subban and Max Pacioretty, but Subban denied the claims recently, saying he “disagreed” with the rumor.
Even though he saw a potential trade coming and accepted his fate, Subban admitted there was still a little bit of shock and a move he disagreed with.
“When you’re hearing your name in trade rumors for a long period of time, as a Montreal Canadien every day I tried to go out and be the hardest worker on the ice and give it everything that I had,” Subban said. “Accepting that you’re going to be traded, for me, I didn’t expect it because I didn’t see a reason for me to leave.”
After a strong start to the season the Canadiens went in full free fall mode — a downward spiral that was exacerbated by the injury and loss of goaltender Carey Price — and missed the playoffs altogether with a 38-38-6 record.
Two seasons removed from an Eastern Conference Final appearance, it was a disappointing year for Montreal.
The Predators, meanwhile, took yet another step in the right direction. Nashville finished 41-27-14 and made it to Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the very first time after notching a victory in the first Game 7 in franchise history in Round 1 against the Ducks. The Predators fell to the eventual Western Conference champion Sharks in a Round 2 series that went the distance.
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– NHL News