Not only were the separate trades involving P.K. Subban and Taylor Hall blockbuster in nature because of the magnitude of talent headed out of town, but the deals were each extremely polarizing in their respective Canadian markets.
On Thursday morning, TSN host James Duthie was on Toronto’s TSN 1050 and was asked why he was not shocked Subban and the Canadiens were now apart.
“Just because I’ve been hearing for the last year there was something terribly amiss in that dressing room, and that for whatever reason, they seem to blame P.K. for it,” said Duthie.
“I said on Montreal radio – I think in March – that I thought there was a good chance P.K. would be traded and everybody thought I was crazy at that point in time. I’m not getting the ‘I told you so’ because you’re right, I still thought, ‘Why would they do this?’
“But I think that’s the most fascinating thing that happened yesterday. It’s an interesting hockey trade, but it’s so much more than that because it’s not a hockey trade. They did not trade P.K. Subban because they wanted Shea Weber. They traded P.K. Subban because they wanted to trade P.K. Subban and get rid of P.K. Subban.
“And I cannot remember in all of my time covering this sport a bigger difference between public perception of someone – and a lot of other people in hockey – and a franchise, an organization’s perception of a player. And it’s baffling to me.
“And think that it is – there’s a real cultural thing here. And I mean more hockey cultural than anything else. That they could not handle what he was. The larger than life personality. The clothes. The social media stuff.
“To me, that’s lunacy. Because as long as a guy shows up and works hard, which P.K. does, and plays hard, I can’t see why there’s a problem.
“But hockey culture is still so back-asswards that people – and I don’t think it’s just Bergevin and Therrien, but even some of the players – they can’t deal with that kind of guy who has so much energy and so much personality. And maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s just them feeling him sucking up too much energy in the room. I don’t know because I’m not in the room.
“But I just feel that’s the root of this thing, and it’s craziness to me.”
Cue the audio clip up to the 3:50 mark if you’d like to listen. This is one of those segments where it’s worth both reading and listening to what was said.
Source: TSN 1050/ Transcript: Nichols