NHL

NHL notes: Habs insist they aren't trying to trade P.K. Subban

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin sought to quiet speculation about star defenceman P.K. Subban following comments made on Friday by Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning, who said he inquired about trading for him.

Montreal GM says he's not actively trying to deal him, but listening to all offers

Will the Habs trade P.K. Subban? "You never say never" - Marc Bergevin

6 years ago
Duration 0:43
Marc Bergevin says he taking calls on P.K. Subban but he's not shopping him around. He also said that trading Subban is not realistic

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin insists he's not shopping P.K. Subban.

Bergevin sought to quiet speculation about his star defenceman following comments made on Friday by Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning, who said he inquired on Subban.

"It's not even listening to offers if I'm taking calls," Bergevin said following the GM meetings in Buffalo. "When a GM calls me I don't know who he's calling me about so I answer the phone. Yes, I've received calls on P.K., but I'm not shopping P.K. Subban I can tell you that."

Asked if it was realistic that a trade could take place with Subban, who has posted more points than every defenceman but Erik Karlsson over the past five seasons, Bergevin replied: "I would say no."

Subban is entering the third year of an eight-year, $72 million US deal. It includes a no-move clause, but it doesn't take effect until July 1.

The Canadiens general manager said he's received calls over the years on many of his top players beyond just Subban.

Benning told TSN Radio in Vancouver that the Canucks were one of the teams to inquire on Subban, who had 51 points last season.

Montreal is coming off a wildly disappointing year, one that saw them race out to a 19-4-3 start only to unravel entirely without No. 1 goaltender Carey Price.

If not quite to the Norris trophy levels he established in winning the award in 2013, Subban still posted 51 points in 68 games, tied for ninth among NHL defenders. He also boasted positive puck possession numbers. He averaged more than 26 minutes per game, trailing only four others at his position.

Discontent

Still, an undercurrent of discontent lingered last season, highlighted by critical comments from head coach Michel Therrien following a mid-February game against Colorado, one that saw a Subban error lead to the game-deciding goal.

Bergevin, though, said he and the organization were happy with Subban and his growth in Montreal.

"Personally, we've never said anything (bad) about P.K.," said Bergevin. "Off the ice, he's busy, but he performs, he works, he's on time, he does all the right things so what he does off the ice it's good for him.

"P.K., since I've been in Montreal, his game has improved a lot," Bergevin continued. "Last year as a team, and I'm sure not blaming P.K. Subban, as a team we didn't get the job done."

Bergevin said he was pleased to learn recently that Price would be "100 per cent" for the start of next season. Price, who is expected to play for Canada at the World Cup in September, injured his knee in late November and did not return for the remainder of last season.

The Canadiens, who finished with the fourth-worst record in the Eastern Conference in his absence, hold the ninth-overall pick at the upcoming draft.

Montreal's GM was forced to clarify his team's position on Subban after Benning told TSN Radio in Vancouver that the Canucks had inquired on Subban.

Bergevin said such calls were not unusual. He recalled one on another top Canadiens player two years earlier, an unidentified member of the club who remains with the team to this day.

"It's part of the other GM's (job) to do their due diligence on players that are available," Bergevin said. "I've called teams on players in the past that I was 99 per cent (sure weren't available). I made the call anyways. I'm sure they do the same thing.

"He's an all-star defenceman," Bergevin said of Subban. "He's extremely good. If I would be (on) another team I would be calling too."

Panthers pick up Berra

The Colorado Avalanche added another forward by picking up Rocco Grimaldi from the Florida Panthers for goaltender Reto Berra.

The 23-year-old Grimaldi scored three goals and had two assists in 20 games for the Panthers last season. He spent a majority of the season with Portland of the American Hockey League.

Grimaldi was a second-round pick by Florida in 2011.

By dealing Berra, the Avalanche solved a logjam in goal for next season. The team already has Semyon Varlamov and Calvin Pickard.

Berra had a 2.41 goals-against average in 14 games last season with the Avalanche, before an ankle injury in December sidelined him. Berra was sent to San Antonio of the AHL for a conditioning assignment on Feb. 18 and remained there for the rest of the season.

Senators sign Robinson to 1-year deal

The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Buddy Robinson to a one-year, two-way contract.

The contract will carry an annual value of US$750,000 in the National Hockey League and $75,000 in the American Hockey League.

The 6-foot-6, 232-pound native of Bellmawr, N.J., had 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 62 games with AHL's Binghamton Senators last season. He added a goal and an assist in four games with the NHL Senators.

Robinson recorded his first NHL goal, the game-winner, on April 7 in Ottawa's 3-1 home win over the Florida Panthers.

Flyers sign Gudas to extension

The Philadelphia Flyers signed Czech defenceman Radko Gudas to a multi-year contract extension Thursday.

The 26-year-old Gudas had six goals and five assists in 76 games this past season, his first with the Flyers. He was second in the NHL with 304 hits, and second on the team with 157 blocked shots.

Gudas acquired from Tampa Bay in March 2015. He has 12 goals and 34 assists in 202 games in parts of four seasons with the Lightning and Flyers.

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