It’s been nearly four months since the shocking blockbuster trade that sent Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber. But if you believe that time heals all wounds and that all Habs fans have come to terms with the deal, it appears you’d be very wrong.
On the day of the team’s season-opener on Thursday, an anonymous Canadiens fan took out a full-page ad in the Montreal Gazette to protest the Subban trade. The fan wrote that they still felt "anger, disappointment, and embarrassment" over the deal before stating that they would not be using any of their season tickets this year, except for the team’s contest against Subban’s Predators.
Thank you, Pernell Karl Subban, for your time as a Montreal Canadien. I am a season ticket holder and lifelong fan. I grew up on the Prairies watching and falling in love with Canadiens hockey, and all the great players on the dynasty teams of the ‘70s. I truly thought that my love for the Habs was forever. I could not imagine an event that would change that.
But this trade has made me feel different. Now, I feel anger, disappointment and embarrassment over the treatment of P.K. Subban by team management: the same sentiments that many fans felt after the Patrick Roy trade.
As a player, P.K., you are amazing. You brought us out of our seats, and were consistently one of our best players. You played your best hockey in the biggest games, a true sign of a champion. You were all anyone could ask for. You understood what it meant to be a Montreal Canadien and treated the jersey, franchise, fans, sport of hockey, city of Montreal and country of Canada with respect.
But as great as you are on the ice, it pales in comparison to the young man you are.
P.K., you are an amazing hockey talent, and an even more amazing individual. As a parent, I know the importance of role models for children; I want my children to grow up to be healthy, functioning young men and women who work and contribute to society. You display these qualities as well as any young man I have seen in my lifetime. You are an amazing and influential role model for my children and I am going to miss not having you as a Montreal Canadien.
While my best wishes remain with the 2016-2017 Montreal Canadiens players and their families, my season tickets for this year remain unopened. My family and I will only be attending one home game this season, on March 2, 2017 – when Nashville visits Montreal.
This season, more than any I can recall, supporting the Montreal Canadiens organization means supporting the decisions that have been made by our general manager and coach. I do not, and will not support, March Bergevin and Michel Therrien. And make no mistake, my fellow fans: attending games at the Bell Centre is a vote of confidence in their leadership. In the near future, I will be announcing an initiative in this regard, and will be asking my fellow Habs fans for their help and participation.
In the meantime, P.K.’s number is hanging with the greats, in the little Canadiens arena of my home – just like it should have hung, one day, in the rafters of the Bell Centre. Don’t look back, P.K.. Onward and upward. As a fan and a parent, thank you so much for everything you have done and continue to do.
Dr. CK and Family
It’s not all that surprising that some fans are still upset over the trade. Subban was not only one of the Canadiens best players (and among the best defensemen in hockey), but he was also a staple of the community. He was full of smiles and jokes. He pledged $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, where he visited often and established relationships with young patients. He’s also younger and arguably better than Weber.
But it’s worth pointing out that, according to CBC, a full page ad in this paper costs roughly $20,000. That’s a lot of money to shell out, even for a doctor, to protest a trade. That kind of thing takes a very rich and very angry fan, and it appears that Dr. CK is both.
And, to be honest, it seems unlikely the Canadiens will even think twice about this, especially since they’ve already got their season ticket money.