Talented P.K. Subban Still Has Much to Learn Before Joining Canadiens

Rocket All HabsCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2009

MONTREAL, QC - 2007:  P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens poses for his 2007 NHL headshot at photo day in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Getty Images)

posted by Rocket


Last week, as Bob Gainey summoned Yannick Weber from the Hamilton Bulldogs to shore up his depleted defensive corps, some wondered, what about P.K.?

Similarly, when 19 players attending Canadiens training camp were cut and sent to Hamilton prior to the start of the NHL season, the headlines focused on one player: P.K. Subban. Many fans and media reacted with surprise to the news of Subban's demotion.

Frankly, I was shocked by the reaction to both situations.

There is little doubt that Subban possesses NHL-caliber skills and potentially will be an impact player for the Habs sometime in the future. P.K. is a very talented offensive defenseman.

At the World Junior Championships, we witnessed how Subban's special skills could be utilized by an experienced coach. Pat Quinn deployed Subban as a rover on the Team Canada power play.

I don't wish to rain on the parade, but it was also at the WJC that Subban's weaknesses in his own zone were exposed. P.K. still has much to learn.

It has been a treat to see the marked improvement of Yannick Weber after spending a season in the AHL. Weber had 44 points in 68 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and was an AHL All-Star last season. Weber showed that he is stronger and much more confident during this year's training camp.

While Subban is clearly behind Weber on the Canadiens depth chart, the potential displayed at 2009 training camp gives fans reason for optimism. Subban has quickly become a fan and media favorite. He is likeable, provides good quotes, and has a compelling back story.  He is also very comfortable behind a microphone.

There is concern, however, that all of the attention could be going to P.K.'s head.

Subban's reaction to being sent to Hamilton was both puzzling and somewhat disturbing. Subban seemed to question coach Jacques Martin's judgment and hockey knowledge.

Subban said, "I thought I had a great camp, both rookie and main camp. But obviously [Coach Martin] really didn't get to see me in the games. I'm not too sure how much he knows about my game and how I can play, but I know how I can play, and I'm sure a lot of you have seen the way I can play."

While there can be some admiration for a player who isn't happy about being cut, focusing the media spotlight on your coach's decision-making isn't the way to express displeasure. It appears that Subban has an unrealistic sense of entitlement.

While in Hamilton, let's hope that Subban will not only develop his overall game, but also a more humble, respectful, and realistic attitude.