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.
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!