Remember THAT day last summer when the hockey world stood simultaneously with mouths agape in shock when Shea Weber and PK Subban were swapped for each other 1 for 1?
For a couple weeks leading up to the GM meetings over the summer we heard rumours of the Oilers and a a few other teams kicking the tires on PK wondering if they might be able to pry him away from an organization that seemingly had issues with him.
Trade rumours weren’t the only rumours around PK. Rumours abounded that he was too flashy in the dressing room. He was a “me first” guy. There were rumours that his 10-million dollar donation to a local hospital wasn’t really 10 million and he did it for PR reasons instead of heartfelt ones.
Through the rumours, Canadiens GM said trading Subban was ridiculous and it would never happen.
Then it happened. Maybe the biggest 1 for 1 trade I’ve ever seen. It was almost as breathtaking as Greztky getting traded because of the magnitude of the players involved. Nashville’s best player and the NHL’s greatest leader since Mark Messier was traded for Montreal’s best player and scapegoat.
Analytics guys screamed at the Canadiens in vain not to do it, lending credence to the rumours that PK wasn’t a good fit in MTL. Nashville got younger, cheaper, and more offensively dynamic then ever before.
Weber had a great year in MTL. He was arguably their best player and said and did all the things the organization didn’t get from PK.
PK? He was PK. 10 g and 30 a for 40 pts over 66 GP. Was a minus 8 on the season which you could have predicted. However, the playoffs always tell a different story.
PK and the Preds swept the mighty Blackhawks in the first round. No one had that. PK had a couple of points in that series that was dominated by Pekke Rinne in net.
Last night Nashville opened their send round series against the St Louis Blues with a 4-3 win, and, as my friend Darren Millard tweeted: “PK is everywhere.”
His 23 minutes looked more like 35. He made something happen overtime he was on the ice. First passes were impossible to read. He was the best player on the ice every shift. He was generating scoring chances and odd-man rushes at will.
PK finished the game with a goal, a couple of assists, and +1, and imposed his will for 60 minutes. For lack of a better explanation, he showed the world his enormous balls on the biggest stage and no one had any way to stop him.
Impact players in the NHL usually don’t need outside motivation to be impactful. It just always means that much to them and that competitive spirit is woven into their DNA.
The scary part watching PK yesterday is that he’s one of those guys that doesn’t need a springboard to dominance. But if you don’t think THAT day last summer isn’t driving him to perform and drag an already very good Preds team with him, make a point of watching the next Preds/Blues game.
I’m sure his nuts will be on full display yet again.