A juicy headline, to be certain. But let’s all take a deep breath before we jump to conclusions, shall we?
Jean qualified his tweeted report by saying that he’s not suggesting general manager Marc Bergevin will trade his best player not named Carey Price. Jean says, to his knowledge, Bergevin is not shopping Subban.
“There is no question that the captain, Max Pacioretty, and Subban are not best friends,” Jean told Hockey Central at Noon Friday. “[Subban] is a guy that does rub others the wrong way.”
Jean was careful to explain that the locker room understands Subban does win his team games. When a team undergoes a long stretch of losing, that’s when the finger-pointing begins.
Subban, 26, has been a rare bright spot for a Canadiens club that has turned in the NHL’s worst record since Dec. 1 and fallen from the top of the standings to a trade-deadline seller.
“I think I’m part of the answer, not the problem,” Subban told reporters after Friday’s practice.
A Norris Trophy winner in 2013 and finalist in 2015, Subban has five goals and 39 assists this season and was the Canadiens’ lone representative at the 2016 All-Star Game.
Contractually speaking, July 1 marks a significant change for the star, whose eight-year deal carries a $9-million cap hit.
This season Subban will “only” make $7 million in salary. That figure leaps to $11 million for 2016-17 and 2017-10 and $10 million for each of the following two seasons. Also on July 1, Subban’s full no-move clause kicks in.
So if — and it’s a big if — Bergevin were to consider trading his passionate quarterback, it would be easier to do so prior to this summer.
With the Canadiens in a free fall, the mood surrounding the team has grown toxic. Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien singled out Subban after Wednesday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche for making an “individual mistake.”