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Report: Canadiens "Gauging Interest" in Subban
Friday, Feb. 19
According to Louis Jean of TVA Sports, an anonymous NHL executive revealed Subban's "name has come up" in trade discussions. Jean also reported the Habs are "gauging the market" with regard to interest in the offensively gifted rearguard.
The All-Star defenseman is enjoying another strong season in 2015-16 with five goals and 39 assists in 58 games to go along with a plus-six rating.
He set career highs in 2014-15 with 15 goals, 45 assists and a plus-21 rating, and he won the Norris Trophy in 2013 as the league's top defenseman.
The fact that Subban is the subject of trade rumors is somewhat surprising considering his youth and production, but the Canadiens' recent struggles may have something to do with it.
Montreal is currently a disappointing 13th in the Eastern Conference due largely to the absence of injured goalie Carey Price.
A miscue by Subban led to a loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. After that defeat, Habs head coach Michel Therrien placed much of the blame on Subban's shoulders, per CBC Sports:
It's too bad that an individual mistake cost us the game, late in the game. As a coach, I thought he could've had a better decision at the blue-line. He moved the puck behind and he put himself in a tough position. ... Unfortunately, at the end of the game, when we don't play as a team, we could be in trouble and this is what happened.
Despite the apparent issues between Subban and Therrien, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal cannot envision a trade:
Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty
There's not a snowball's chance in hell the Habs would trade Subban. He's one of the NHL's top half dozen D. True No. 1 D's are gold.2016-2-19 17:05:40
Subban is signed through the 2021-22 season at a cap hit of $9 million per year, according to NHLNumbers.com, and while that is hefty for a defenseman, he has proven to be worth it.
Aside from Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson, it can be argued that no defenseman in hockey is as dangerous as Subban offensively.
That type of weapon is hard to find in a league that is starved for goals, and even though the Habs are having an incredibly disappointing season, trading Subban isn't likely the answer to turn it around.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.