P.K. Subban, Canadiens strike 8-year deal
Defenceman had salary arbitration hearing on Friday
P.K. Subban can call Montreal his hockey home for the foreseeable future after the defenceman struck an eight-year contract with the Canadiens on Saturday.
The deal reportedly has an annual average value of $9 million US.
The 25-year-old Subban was unable to hammer out a deal with the NHL team earlier this week and went to salary arbitration on Friday.
However, the sides continued to negotiate and were able to come to an agreement before the arbitrator came back with a decision that was expected on Sunday.
"Thank you to (at)CanadiensMTL for making a commitment to myself and my family," Subban wrote on Twitter. "Im Excited about the future! .letsgetit"
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement released by the team that "this agreement helps consolidate the future of our team. A key element of our group of young veterans, P.K. plays with a high level of intensity every time he steps onto the ice.
"Despite his young age, he carries a great deal of experience and brings contagious energy to the team," Bergevin added. "Defencemen of his level are a rare commodity in the NHL."
Friday was the first true NHL arbitration hearing for a restricted free agent since Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators went through it in 2011 and was awarded $7.5 million, the highest amount determined through this process. Earlier this off-season, the St. Louis Blues took Vladimir Sobotka to arbitration to keep his rights after he decided to sign in the KHL.
Subban, who had 10 goals and 43 assists in 82 regular-season games last season, would have been a restricted free agent again next summer if he and the Canadiens couldn't agree to a long-term deal.
Last season, Subban topped Montreal in assists, power-play points (23) and power-play assists (19) while ranking second in average ice time per game (24 minutes 36 seconds) and third in shots on goal (204).
In the playoffs, he led all players with 14 points on five goals and nine assists in 17 games and set a franchise record for a defenceman in a single post-season with four power-play goals.
The Toronto native has scored 42 goals and 167 points in 284 NHL regular-season contests and another 30 points in 43 playoff games.
A third-round pick of the Canadiens (43rd overall) in 2007, Subban has won an Olympic gold medal with Canada at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Other golds in the Montreal rearguard's career include world junior titles in 2008 and 2009 and a world championship in 2013.