The Contrarian – It Was Not Arbitrary

Demetri Fragopoulos

2016-07-03

Arbitration should be considered a major factor in P.K. Subban being traded.

Of the three events that occurred last Wednesday, only one was a true head scratcher.

No, it was not Steven Stamkos signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite everyone guessing that he was going to play for his hometown team or for big money, he ended up playing for a contender that has gone deep into the playoffs the last two seasons.

It was also not the Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson trade. Sure I would have wanted more for Hall, but a comparable was the Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones deal.

The shocker was Shea Weber for P.K. Subban.

Many pundits slammed Marc Bergevin, GM of the Montreal Canadiens, for sending a dynamic and well-loved player out of town.

Was he moved because he is black? Was he moved because he was flashy, boisterous and enthusiastic? Did he have issues with management and other players on the team? These were all the questions that they were asking and inferring to.

Steve Simmons comes out and claims: “It is no accident that hockey fans in Montreal and in Canada are upset about the trade that sent Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber, barely for a second considering that some of hockey’s wisest men — Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville, Steve Yzerman, Doug Armstrong, Ken Hitchcock — would probably make the same deal for Weber in a heartbeat.”

He later adds “[Weber] was named early to Team Canada for this September’s World Cup team and Subban was left off the roster. The fancy numbers favour Subban: The veteran eyeballs with championship pedigree prefer Weber.”

These wise men have to build a team for a few weeks not for seasons at a time. When they look at their real teams, would they pass up on Subban in preference for Weber?

The conclusion from Simmons is that “dull and team always seems to triumph over dash and individual.”

Nice try. I would like to introduce Mr. Simmons to Phil Kessel, Stanley Cup Winner. Maybe we could meet at a World Cup game and get acquainted over some beers and hot dogs. He too was not invited to play.

The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa wrote: “The truth of the Canadiens is that they were not very good, from their perpetual absence of a go-to center to the mish-mash Bergevin collected for his bottom six forwards to the unimaginative approach the dictatorial Therrien adopted on the bench while his team smoldered on the ice.”

I can believe portions of that statement, except that while Carey Price was healthy they were the team to beat in the Atlantic Division. Without better depth at centre they may not have gone very far in the playoffs, but they would have made the pl