Rabid Habs

Habs’ Subban Deserves Better

Habs' PK Subban

Hockey fans may wonder why Habs’ PK Subban thinks he can get more than Alex Pietrangelo’s $6.5M per year contract. I’ll tell you why by looking at the end of the season in which Subban and Pietrangelo had four years of NHL experience:

Alex Pietrangelo:
Regular Season – 305 GP, 0.12 GPG, 0.56 PPG, +45
Playoffs – 20 GP, 0.10 GPG, 0.50 PPG, +2
Salary Earned – $7.625M

PK Subban:
Regular Season – 202 GP, 0.16 GPG, 0.56 PPG, +14
Playoffs – 26 GP, 0.19 GPG, 0.62 PPG, -1
Salary Earned – $4.625M

On a weaker team, Subban’s regular season performance has been comparable. Both players performed very well. In the playoffs, Pietrangelo continued to perform well while Subban considerably boosted his performance.

So two players, basically equal, but Subban has been paid $3M less over the same timeframe. This is why he’s looking for a bigger contract. Then you throw in that he lost more ground in his fifth season (he earned $3.75M, while Pietrangelo goes up to $5.5M). We may feel it is foolish for players to think like this, but that is the way professional hockey players often assess themselves.

Sidney Crosby will be paid $12.0 million next season, while Jonathan Toews will be paid $13.8M. While it is questionable as to who is the better player, I don’t think many hockey fans see Toews as being 15% better than Crosby, yet that is what the numbers say if we choose to compare value by player salary as some are trying to do with Subban vs. Pietrangelo.

Some may question why Toews is getting so much more money? After eight NHL seasons, Toews’ career earnings of $34.05M will trail those of his comparable players at the same eight years’ experience and approximate age, such as Crosby ($46.05M), Malkin ($46.45M), Kopitar ($34.95M) or Ovechkin ($47.95M). He also gains from signing under a more favourable cap situation.

Basically, he did his part by performing below market level for two or three years, and now Chicago is paying him back for that, even if it means that it’ll be difficult to reproduce the strong supporting roster that made their two Stanley Cups possible.

I assume that Don Meehan is saying “Hey, we did our part…it isn’t our fault that you couldn’t find the complementary players to actually contend!”. And it is a legitimate argument.

Stay tuned Habs fans, as the drama continues to unfold.

Go Habs Go