Rabid Habs

Meehan vs Bergevin: Round 2

Habs PK Subban in Bruins offensive zone

P.K. Subban and Marc Bergevin will now go through arbitration. This is the one situation that most Habs fans didn’t want to see this summer…but it’s happening!

The team asked for a 1 year ruling of $5.25M and Meehan is requesting $8.25M.

Many fans, as myself, didn’t expect this one to get there. We all thought that Subban would have a long term deal in his back pocket by now but this is not the case.

What happened here?

Were Bergevin’s offers that cheap? Were Subban’s demands that high? What was the big problem with getting one of the top defenseman in the league under contract?

Now many are trying to find who’s to blame for this whole situation. Not enough information out there to make a good educated guess, but here’s a little research I made:

Drew Doughty, at 21, right after his ELC (Entry-Level Contract), signed a 7-year deal and will become UFA at age of 28 years old.

Steven Stamkos, signed a 5-year deal right after his ELC at 22 years old and will become UFA at 27 years old.

Erik Karlsson, signed a 7-year deal right after his ELC at 22 years old and will also become UFA at 29 years old.

Jordan Eberle, signed a 6-year deal right after his ELC at 22 years old and will also be a UFA at 28 years old.

– Same goes for Evander Kane who will become UFA at 26 years old , Alex Pietrangelo who will become UFA at 30 years old, Bobby Ryan will hit the open market at 28 and finally Ryan O’Reilly will hit the UFA at 25.

All those players (all represented by Don Meehan’s group, Newport Sports Management Inc) are going to be on the open market at the best time possible in their career (prime years).

This is why Subban’s bridge deal was so hard to accept for Meehan back then and this is why a very long term deal is so hard to negotiate for Marc Bergevin right now.

Meehan’s plan is to get Subban on the open market at the peak of his value like all of his customers. But Bergevin screwed that plan for him when he “forced” P.K. to sign a “bridge deal”.

Back then, Meehan was asking a 5-year deal for Subban…remember? Now you know why, cause it would’ve given the status of UFA to Subban and the upper hand in future negotiations.

Now, with a 7 or 8-year deal, Subban will only be UFA at 31 or 32 years old. Not exactly what Meehan wants for his client.

This deal will affect the next one and both are aware of this. Having P.K. on the free market at 28-29 years old would be a dream for Meehan and a nightmare for Bergevin.

What’s best for the team and what’s best for P.K. isn’t the same thing right now.

Meehan will do everything he can to get his Norris Trophy winner on the open market in his prime, while Bergevin will do everything he can to buy those years while having the upper hand in negotiation, cause once P.K. is UFA – Bergevin will lose that upper hand.

This is why Meehan is known as one of the best agents in the game. This is also why Bergevin is making a name for himself as one of the best General Managers in the NHL.