May 9, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) is checked by Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K.Subban (76) during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

My Buffalo Sabres Wish List #16: P.K. Subban

For the majority of my Wish List series, I have avoided going after teams’ “Big Name” players.  Doing so would be too easy, too obvious, and therefore, kind of pointless.  Yeah – who wouldn’t want Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin from the Pittsburgh Penguins?  Steven Stamkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning?  Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Red Wings?  Any monkey with a keyboard could create that wish list!

Every once in a while, though, I focus my series on one of the better, if not the best, player on a team, either because I’m being selfish, or because there is no one else on the team I would want playing for the Buffalo Sabres.

Sorry, Montreal fans, but this post is one example of the latter.

May 9, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) is checked by Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K.Subban (76) during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

P.K. Subban, D

Yeah, yeah, yeah: lots of people dislike, or hate, P.K. Subban.  He talks trash.  He celebrates when he scores.  He plays undisciplined at times.

He also delivers.  In a big, big way. Anyone who follows hockey knows that Subban brought home the Norris Trophy last season, due to a regular season stat line of 11-27-38, making him the NHL’s leading scorer among defensemen (tied with Kris Letang) as well as the second-leading scorer on the Canadiens last season.

All that despite the fact that he missed training camp and the beginning of last season because he had not yet agreed on a new contract with Montreal.  For those of you keeping score at home, Subban’s 38 points would have also made him the Sabres’ second-leading scorer, as well, a mere 30 points better than Tyler Myers.  Just sayin’!

Subban can absolutely fire rockets at opposing goalies, including this shot against Ryan Miller that had me simultaneously cursing him and hoping that my kid develops such a blast:

Yeah – I would take that.  I would also take Subban’s willingness to hit anything wearing the other team’s jersey, and so would all you Buffalo Sabres fans who want a more physical team.  More than anything though, I want Subban because of what he can do on the powerplay.   Last season, he led all NHL defensemen in powerplay goals (7), and he was second in the NHL with 19 powerplay assists.   Think of what he could have done to improve the godawful Sabres powerplay we had to endure last season.   The only player on the Sabres roster with more PP goals was Thomas Vanek (9), with Cody Hodgson next with . . . three.  The Sabres’ leading assist man on the powerplay?  Tyler Ennis with 12.    The Sabres player who was closest to matching Subban’s 26 total PP points?  Vanek and Ennis, with 14 points each.   I won’t even begin to compare Subban’s numbers to those of any Sabres defensemen, because those comparisons would not be fair.  Sorry, Buffalo blueliners – you just don’t stack up.

Duct tape his mouth if you must, but the bottom line is this: Subban got a contract extension last season and more than lived up to it . . . and you can certainly never accuse this dude of being out of shape (cough, Tyler Myers, cough!):

I’m not much of a Montreal Canadiens fan, but I would take P.K. Subban in a second if the Canadiens ever lost their mind and decided to send him packing.

Agree, or disagree?  Let me hear you below, or @theamazingMrS!

Tags: Buffalo Sabres P.k. Subban

  • qwicwted

    Rich, I would also love to see PK in a Sabres uni. He not only brings his skills, but he brings his emotion, fire and nasty. I’m hoping that Ristolainen and Zadorov will as bring those qualities, except – I believe both prospects have a bit more maturity. I pretty much like our defensive corp and my question would be if Meyers can regain his playing form from a couple of years ago.

    • Richard Spalding

      I was thinking of Ristolainen and Zadorov as I wrote this, saying to myself, “Holy crap if we had all THREE of these guys!”

      • qwicwted

        That’s where I am hoping Ruhwedel, McBain or Pysyk step up – Even McNabb who has leadership capabilities and can bring a bit of nasty. I would have no problem if Darcy went after PK hard as it would be a killer D.

  • davidmuscalo

    As much as I dislike Subban, I’d take him in heartbeat over Myers. He is everything that Myers is not. Fortunately, we have some real talent in the pipeline and I a few years we may not need either Myers or Subban.

  • wolfdoctor

    Would you trade Vanek and Myers for Subban?

    • qwicwted

      As much as I would like to say yes, I would have to say no. I think Vanek will bring more value in mid-season – I am thinking more along the lines of Vanek/Cantenacci for Heatley and probably Granlund. Essentially I see Buffalo taking the Heatley part of the deal for the remaining salary as the wash with Vanek – figuring Vanek will sign an extension with MN. Since Bflo would have no intention of signing Heatly the real value of the deal is the acquisition of Granlund – a fellow Finn to play on a line with Armia.

      Right now Myers doesn’t have much value, in fact if anything he is highly overpaid – so he needs to step up and regain his form, otherwise he will be a candidate for buyout next year. Hopefully the Tallinder experiment will work out – if it does, then may be considered a “bargain” in a couple of years. My suggestion would be, get his value up and then try to unload him. I think we have a few studs that are ready or desire to make the jump into the lineup. To think – you collect a bonus and then you are unprepared for the season – lack of maturity and an embarassment. We have youngsters that work hard and don’t like to lose – I’m sure they are coming to camp in shape!

    • Richard Spalding

      Oh man . . . that’s a good, tough question. A lot of people are ready to shove Myers out the door, and there’s no doubt that he has under-performed since the Sabres gave him a boatload of money. I think he will regain some of his form this year, but will he ever be as good as Subban? Probably not. And with Vanek almost surely out the door after next season . . .if I could get away with packaging ONE of these guys in a deal that would get the Sabres Subban, most certainly. If the Canadiens insisted it would take both of these guys . . . dammit! I don’t know if I could resist that.

      • wolfdoctor

        I think I’d do it. In a few years the Sabres would have the best defense in the league. Of course, we’d have to start drafting some snipers to go with our play makers.

        • Richard Spalding

          True, but you would hope the the front office would realize that next year’s draft will be (almost) all about offense, right? :D

          • wolfdoctor

            We’re stacked on defensive prospects now. We also have a ton of “gritty” prospects. I think it’s time to draft some pure skill players, i.e. snipers. IMO when it’s time for the Sabres to select in the first round next year, they should absolutely draft offense unless there is a defenseman available who is head and shoulders better than any forward available.