Report: Subban wants $8.5 million in arbitration; Habs thinking 1 year, $5.25M

The Montreal Canadiens and defenseman P.K. Subban are far apart in their quest to settle on a contract before the sides go to an arbitration hearing on Friday.

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The Montreal Canadiens and defenseman P.K. Subban are far apart in their quest to settle on a contract before the sides go to an arbitration hearing on Friday.

The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell reported Wednesday what each side is seeking, tweeting that Subban is looking for $8.5 million, while the Canadiens are taking aim at a one-year, $5.25 million contract.

"Habs elected for one-year award for Subban because they can take him to arb next summer," Campbell continued. "Also can negotiate new deal earlier on one year."

It’s quite possible that both parties could reach an agreement before the hearing, which has been very common throughout the summer. Arbitration hearings often are uncomfortable for the player because his team critiques every angle of his game in an effort to prove why its submitted salary figure is the fair amount.

Quite frankly, it’s a bit laughable that the Canadiens are seeking $5.25 million on a one-year deal. That’s just $1.20 million per season more than the extension Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner agreed to on Tuesday.

Subban arguably is among the top five defensemen in the NHL. He tallied 53 points (10 goals, 43 assists) in 82 games last season, one year after winning the Norris Trophy. The 25-year-old star was the Canadiens’ best player during their run to the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, posting 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 17 playoff games.

Nashville Predators D-man Shea Weber received the highest arbitration award ever ($7.5 million) in 2011. Subban’s could be higher if he’s unable to reach a deal with Montreal before Friday.

Subban recently expressed a desire to be a Canadiens player for life.

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