Subban: MacKinnon deserves Hart, is a future Hall of Famer

The Predators beat the Avalanche handily in Game 6, moving on to face the Jets in Round 2- but not before some quality handshakes.

There’s respecting your just-defeated opponent and then there’s what Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban said about Nathan MacKinnon.

Subban and Co. eliminated the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-0 victory in Sunday night’s Game 6 matchup. Following the game, the Predators star told media that MacKinnon deserves Hart Trophy honours this year.

“You guys know I’m biased about [Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne], but in my opinion, he was the best player in the league this year,” Subban said of MacKinnon, according to NHL.com’s Tracey Myers.

“That’s not to take anything away from other guys like Taylor Hall who have had great years. But I think for him and what he’s done with this team, a team that’s been up and down … He’s just come into his own and he’s a phenomenal hockey player.”

MacKinnon finished fifth in the NHL scoring race this season with 97 points in 74 games. He led a surprising Avalanche club that wasn’t expected to make it into the playoffs at the outset of the regular season. Subban had a lengthy chat with the 22-year-old MacKinnon during the post-game handshakes Sunday.

“He’s so tough to handle, so fast, strong and shifty,” Subban said, before really hyping up the praise. “My expectation for him as a player is to be a Hall of Famer by the end of his career. He understands that. Just tremendous respect for him. I just told him I hope he takes home that trophy that he deserves as the MVP. He deserves it.”

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