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01-22-2018, 11:21 PM
BROSSARD, Que. -- P.K. Subban was still wearing his playoff beard as he answered questions about what may be a summer-long story about his contract negotiations. Since signing a two-year "bridge" deal that paid him US$3.75 million this season, the 25-year-old, who has become one of the NHLs best and most entertaining defencemen, is a potential restricted free agent in position to ink a multi-year contract for a kings ransom with the Montreal Canadiens. Or he could take a shorter contract and then become an unrestricted free agent. Subban said he hopes to sign a long-term deal and to stay in Montreal his entire career. "Im sure everybody in hockey wants a long-term contract, but for me, its not just about that," he said. "Its about being part of a team that can win a championship, and I believe we have that in this dressing room. "When it comes to contract stuff, thats why I hire my agent (Don Meehan). Thats why we pay him. Thats his job and Ill let him do his job. Ive done mine, and hell do his." The Canadiens, coming off their second trip to the Eastern Conference final in four years, gathered at their suburban training centre to clear out lockers and begin exit interviews before splitting up for the off-season. Their better-than-expected run to the third round of playoffs ended on Thursday with a 1-0 loss to the Rangers in New York. "Right now, the season just ended 48 hours ago," said Subban. "It feels weird cleaning out my stall. "Im just still trying to enjoy the last couple of days with my teammates before going home. Enjoy the summer with my family. So, I havent put much thought into (a new contract) as of right now, but obviously during the summer its something that will get taken care of." General manager Marc Bergevin, who will talk to the media only on Monday, has a heap of contracts to settle, but none will be watched with quite the rapt attention of Subbans. During his bridge deal, the Toronto native won the Norris Trophy as the leagues top defenceman in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and followed with a career-best 53-point campaign in which he had 24:36 of ice time per game, second on the team to rearguard Andrei Markov. He also helped Canada win gold at the Sochi Olympics in February, although he was cast as the extra defenceman on a talent-packed team due to managements doubts about defensive lapses. Where Subban sits on the scale of NHL stars, or of top defencemen, is much debated. Among his Olympic teammates, Shea Weber is signed through 2020-21 by Nashville for an average of $7.8 million per season, Drew Doughty is with Los Angeles until 2018-19 at $7.0 million, while Chicagos Duncan Keith will make only $5.5 million until 2020-21. The one he is often compared with is Ottawas Erik Karlsson, who is earning $6.5 million per year through 2018-19. But with the salary cap expected to rise steadily in coming years, the scale may now he higher for a player of Subbans skill and star power. And theres always the possibility that another team (Toronto perhaps?) makes him a spectacular offer that the Canadiens would have the right to match. Asked if he feels he has reached elite status among NHL defenders, Subban said it is for others to decide. "I dont control what people say and what category people put me in," he sad. "All I can control is trying to help my team win hockey games and a championship. "Thats my goal. But in terms of what people say about me. There are always critics. There are always people that are going to characterize yourself, your game. Thats not for me to do." Two other restricted free agents who are likely to be much easier to sign are Lars Eller, who had an excellent playoffs and who is developing into a shut-down centre, and right-winger Dale Weise, a late-season pickup who sparkled in the post-season until suffering a suspected concussion in Game 5 of the conference final. Weise was not available to the media. And RFA Ryan White, who wasnt used in the playoffs, has an uncertain future with the club, although he would likely be of interest to a team needing a fourth liner with grit to his game. Markov, Thomas Vanek and captain Brian Gionta top the list of seven potential unrestricted free agents. The tough decisions involve Markov and Gionta, who are both 35 and slowing but who are leaders on the team. Both may have to take short-term deals for perhaps less money. Gionta, ending a five-year deal that pays $5 million per season, wants to stay. "My familys been here for a while," he said. "We love the city. "We love the team and believe in the team and the direction of the team, so well leave it up to (Bergevin) and my agent to take care of it." Vanek has said all season he intends to test the free agent market. The big, gifted winger showed he can be a game-changer when at his best, but he struggled in the playoffs and ended up going from the first to the fourth lines. "A year ago I made a decision that it will likely be my only time to pick my own team, and hopefully pick a team where I have a chance to win," said Vanek, who started the season in Buffalo and moved to the New York Islanders before being picked up at the trade deadline by Montreal. "Once you make the decision, you cant look back. "I loved it. Its a market that I wasnt used to. Overall, I have nothing but good things to say. Marc Bergevin really made me feel at home. When I had ups and downs he was always there for me. Hes a great guy. Ill always appreciate what he did for me." Vanek insists he wasnt injured in the playoffs, but said he struggled once he was taken off the top unit with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. "I thought we were one of the best lines," he said. "Once I got taken off, I just struggled to find myself on a new line. "I played with (Tomas Plekanec) most of the playoffs and it just didnt work. Were both, I believe, very good players, were just not on the same page. Its just a different game." The Canadiens may also want to keep another deadline pickup, defenceman Mike Weaver, although he is also over 35. But it may be the end in Montreal for potential UFAs Francis Bouillon, Douglas Murray and enforcer George Parros. "Id like to keep playing, but well see what happens," said 38-year-old Bouillon. While much of the talk was of who would and would not be back, the mood was upbeat. The Canadiens were expected to battle just to make the playoffs, but ended up with a 100-point regular season and a trip to the conference finals. They have a young core of Subban, Pacioretty, pesky winger Brendan Gallagher, skilled 20-year-old Alex Galchenyuk, goalie Carey Price and a few promising young defencemen that suggest they can become a Cup contender. "I think we have an excellent opportunity," said Price, who injured a knee in the opening game of the conference final. "We came just a little bit short, so well need to find ways to improve somehow. "We didnt win, so we have to get better. How that is well have to evaluate over the summer. Each player individually is going to have to figure out a way to get 10 per cent better. It might not even be that much, it might be one per cent better. But were going to have to improve somehow." Jon Weeks Jersey (http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-jon-weeks-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/) . -- Canadian ski cross star Marielle Thompson accomplished two goals in one race Saturday. Andre Hal Jersey (http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-andre-hal-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/) . With the Canadiens leading by one to start the third period, Price turned away 16 shots by the Panthers in the final frame to give Montreal a 2-1 victory over Florida on Monday night. The Panthers (16-21-6) outshot Montreal 16-10 in the final frame, but were repeatedly frustrated by Price, who made 26 saves on the night. http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-johnathan-joseph-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/.ca. Hi Kerry, Welcome back! Im sure you heard Peter Forsbergs comments last week regarding Canadian referees in the gold medal game. Seems to me that he was questioning the integrity and impartiality. Julien Davenport Jersey (http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-julien-davenport-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/) . LOUIS -- Known for his game-managing and defensive skills, Yadier Molina made another statement with his bat. Chris Clark Jersey (http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-chris-clark-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/) . Head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed on Sunday that his starting goalie has a head injury and the team will take it day by day.ANAHEIM, Calif. - Teemu Selanne took one last tour of the Anaheim rink after the final horn, waving his stick at cheering fans while players from both teams banged their sticks on the ice. Despite the melancholy look on his face, the Finnish Flash said he has no regrets about returning to the Anaheim Ducks for one last season, even after they fell well short of another Stanley Cup title. Selannes 21-season NHL career likely ended Thursday night with a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of their second-round series. The 43-year-old forward has maintained hell retire this summer, keeping to his plan even after starring in his sixth Olympics and playing a significant role during the best regular season in franchise history in Anaheim, his home for parts of 15 seasons. "Ive been flirting with this decision for a long time, but the passion and the fun always brought me back," said Selanne, who didnt score in the finale. "I still love this game, and I still know I can play, but it is better this way than having different situations, and thats why I think it is the right time." The crowd chanted "Lets Go Teemu" in the final minutes, with even Kings fans joining in. After the final horn, Selanne accepted congratulations and eventually made it to the dressing room, where his famed composure slipped. "I tried, but when I came in here, I couldnt hold myself anymore," Selanne said. "I didnt know what to do out there." Selanne kept returning to the Ducks for seven straight years after he first contemplated retirement following their only Stanley Cup championship in 2007, each time hoping the Ducks would make another title run. He kept moving up the NHLs career scoring chart, currently sitting 15th with 1,457 points and 11th with 684 goals. Selannes ice time with the Ducks dwindled this year while coach Bruce Boudreau worked younger players into key roles. He still played a dependable role in Anaheim, bottling his frustration for one more run at a Cup. "The 2007 Stanley Cup has to be the biggest crown for my career," Selanne said.dddddddddddd "To be honest, the most proud I am is I have been able to play so many years and at this age. You all know when you get older, its not going to get any easier. But to be able to compete against these young guys and still enjoy this and play well, that has been the greatest thing in my career. Im really thankful for that." Selanne has a full life in Southern California waiting for him after retirement. He opened a successful steak house in Laguna Beach last year, and his four children are comfortable in their year-round home in Coto De Caza, an Orange County community on Selannes beloved golf course. Yet in classic Selanne fashion, he didnt slam the door completely shut on the possibility he could play elsewhere next season. Speculation has been rampant in Finland and Russia about the possibility of luring Selanne to Jokerit, the Helsinki-based club thats joining the Kontinental Hockey League in the fall. "I dont know, and I dont think so," Selanne said a potential move to Jokerit. "I know there is a lot of interest for that, but I always said I was going to retire here. To be honest, I really dont have to play anywhere anymore. I could if I want, but right now I dont want to." Selanne began his pro career with three years in Jokerits junior development program, and he played three seasons with the big-league club before joining the Winnipeg Jets for his record-setting NHL rookie year in 1992-93. The game also might have been a finale for Saku Koivu, Selannes fellow Finn and longtime friend. The 39-year-old Koivu was the Montreal Canadiens captain before moving to Anaheim five years ago. "I really dont have an answer for you," Koivu said. "Usually after the season, the last three or four years, Ive been signing one-year contracts. And Im going to go the same road, just to get away from the game for a couple of weeks and really take a good careful look at what happened, how the season went, and if there is enough left to come back and push for another year." 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