Don Meehan, the agent for Montreal Canadiens star defenceman P.K. Subban, said the two-year, $5.75 million contract his client signed on Monday “was a tough one” to complete, but one that ultimately worked out for both sides, despite it being a complicated situation.
“The negotiation was always really professional with Montreal,” Meehan told HOCKEY CENTRAL at Noon on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Tuesday. “It never became personal because Montreal recognized in our industry there were organizations and teams that were in effect saying, ‘we’re happy to do a longer term deal on a post entry level contract,’ and there were organizations that said, ‘we think it’s in our best interest to do a shorter term deal.’ To complicate that even further, we ended up losing half a season because of the CBA issue.”
Some have questioned the length and value of Subban’s deal, which has a salary cap hit of $2.875 million through next season — it was believed Subban would fetch somewhere in the $4 million per season range.
“This really was a negotiation where nobody really said in effect, ‘well, you don’t have a credible position,’” Meehan said. “At the end of the day it was (about) finding a resolution to the whole dilemma to have him back playing again.”
Meehan explained that there were “different industry standards out there that allowed both sides to recognize that nobody’s really right or wrong here.”
The 61-year-old founder of Newport Sports Management Inc. also suggested that if it weren’t a shortened season due to the lockout, negotiations might have gone differently.
The two-year deal means that both sides will once again be in negotiations at some point next season.
“I would expect, and I have every indication from (Canadiens management), that if P.K. continues to play the way he has played to date that they’ll be very serious about negotiating a longer term commitment for him,” Meehan added.
Subban will join his teammates Wednesday in Ottawa before the Canadiens play the Senators. It’s unknown if Subban will be in the lineup or when the 23-year-old will make his season debut, but Meehan added that his client says he’s ready to play right away.
The Canadiens play the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night and have gone 3-1 through the first four games of the season.