Rabid Habs

This Week It’s Subban’s Time!

Habs PK Subban in Bruins offensive zone

Now it’s time for Marc Bergevin to put on the table the biggest contract in Habs history for the one and only P.K. Subban. How much? How long? There’s all kinds of numbers out there…and some of them are borderline insane.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest contracts for a defenseman in the NHL. But we won’t look at the money, since the Salary Cap changes every year, we will take a look at the % of the Cap given in the first year of those contracts by other teams:

1- Campbell, Brian: 12.60%
2- Weber, Shea : 11.19%
3- Doughty, Drew : 10.89%
4- Chara, Zdeno : 10.76%
5- Suter, Ryan : 10.74%
6- Letang, Kris : 10.51%
7- Phaneuf, Dion : 10.14%
8- Pietrangelo, Alex : 10.11%
9- Keith, Duncan : 9.32%
10- Karlsson, Erik : 9.26%

P.K. Subban is an extremely popular player in Montreal, but this isn’t a popularity contest, there’s a market out there that Bergevin and Meehan (Subban’s agent) need to follow.

It would be hard for any lawyer to make a case that Subban has more value than Weber, Doughty, Chara or Suter but it would be possible to argue that his value is higher than Letang, Phaneuf or Pietrangelo.

That would put the 2013 Norris winner between 10.51% and 10.74% of this year’s salary cap , which would translate to the amount of : $7,251,900 and $7,410,000.

Those are not the numbers you see everywhere on social media and those are the reasons why:

Some people would say that the Cap will go higher in the next couple of years and it should be taken into consideration. But what if it doesn’t go up? Can we play with money that doesn’t exist yet? If the economy changes drastically and the Cap decreases, can we change the terms of that contract? Look at this year, most hockey people expected the Cap to rise to $71M but in the end, we’ll have a $69M Cap. It would be unwise to give away money that might never be there.

Many also believe that Subban should’ve received more money in his last contract and some of that money needs to be added to this negotiation…but if a player doesn’t deliver, can we get back some of that money after the contract expired? Hardly possible in both cases.

Although Subban is probably the most popular Habs player in a very long time, that factor isn’t taking into account in a contract negotiation. His popularity will bring him many lucrative endorsements in the future, that alone is the benefit of being popular.

The things that might change the amount of money given to P.K. would be the taxes, NMC/NTC and that 2013 Norris Trophy and I wouldn’t count too much on that either.

The way I see this, Bergevin will have both RFA year at a lower price (Like Eller’s deal) but Meehan will sell those UFA years at a very high price and the longer the contract will be, the higher the amount will be.

Taking everything into account, I expect Subban to get around $5.75M and $6.25M in the first 2 years of his deal, then $7.5M for year 3 and 4 (more money than Price) and finishing with a strong, gigantic $9M for the year 5, 6 and 7.

7 years at around $7.7M…don’t take this to the bank, I’ve been wrong before…but I’ve used those % of Cap Hit comparables in the past and have been close to the reality more time than not.

We’ll see soon enough!

Go Habs Go!


  1. Fred

    July 28, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Sorry, but you’re out of your mind! Subban should have the same salary as a 35 years old and 10 knee injuries Andrei Markov. Ridiculous! Subban is 25 and never had any injuries in his career. He is the heart and soul of this team. Subban last contract was imposed to him, he didn’t have a choice to sign it or he could not play! So yes he deserves a bigger amount because of it. The context in which the other defensemen signed their contract are totally different. The NHL had not signed yet billions of dollars in broadcast deal. On the market, less than 8 millions $ for Subban would be ridiculous. He doesn’t have a Crosby, Malkin, Toews or Kane to help him look better.

  2. Pascal Dumesnil

    July 29, 2014 at 1:57 am

    According to many….I am out of my mind 😉 This was more a numbers game than a personal opinion of how i value Subban. I agree that every player on that list were signed under very different context, but so is Markov. Don’t get me wrong, Subban would look good even if he wasn’t there, but Price is helping here. As for the “getting back the money left on the table 2 years ago”, just not sure how a lawyer can bring up old negotiation to the table. And,IMO, this bridge contract worked in favor of Subban in the end. We’ll see this week! Important thing, he stay in MTL.