P.K. Subban, shown thinking about how PAID he's going to get.

P.K. Subban, shown thinking about how PAID he’s going to get.

According to a story on TSN, it seems like Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens is ready to negotiate with P.K. Subban, buuut it doesn’t sound like it’s mutual:

“I would like to get something done,” he told reporters, adding he did not want to discuss contracts in public. “It takes two to tango.”

Oh, this could be fun. Negotiations were a little rocky last time, they should be a lot of fun with a Norris Trophy added to the equation.


Top 5 Tidbits

Mike Babcock is coaching Stephen Weiss, and the season hasn’t started yet

We know by now that the coach of the Detroit Red Wings is always thinking, so it’s not hard to get the impression he knows the risks that come with bringing in Stephen Weiss from Florida. There, Weiss was paid handsomely to put up a decent amount of points…while missing playoffs 10 of 11 years. That’s not happening in Detroit, where it’s all about success as a group.

“We explained the situation to him very clearly. Told him if he wasn’t ultra-competitive he couldn’t come here. If he didn’t bring it every day he couldn’t come here, because he was going to hate it if he didn’t, dislike the coach and dislike playing here.

“It’s real straightforward. If you don’t do it right, you’re not happy here.”

Babcock seems like one of those guys that’s a pain in the ass to play for because he’s so demanding, but you’d leave the team with the ultimate respect for him. This seems like a warning shot: being uninvolved is not okay. We need you to be a part of our plans. Babcock also mentions he thinks Weiss is going to be a way better player there, and that he has to learn to play without the puck. Oh, and get 50 points.

I swear, it’s Bill Belichickian. Grab a decent player and wring every possible drop out of him.

(Stick-tap to Pro Hockey Talk)


Brenden Morrow could be going to the Hurricanes?

Yesterday Brenden Morrow told Josh Rimer (Sportsnet) that “he’s in no hurry,” because the teams he’s interested in for the upcoming season have cap issues. Long story short, he’s trying to go to a good team.

One of those is apparently the Carolina Hurricanes, who have reached out to him with their interest level, and basically left it in his hands from there.

I personally love this fit for the ‘Canes. They’ve upped their skill on the roster, and could use a gritty, veteran guy like the 34-year-old Morrow. I think it makes them immediately tougher to play, so if they can get him into a jersey for a reasonable dollar amount, well, high-fives all around. Just because he’s not the player he once was doesn’t mean he’s not still a quality NHL talent.


Let’s make a fuss about a perfectly fine thing Peter DeBoer said about the Brodeur/Schneider situation

I thought about making a big deal about this for a split second, but then I exhaled, realized it’s September and there will be real news soon. Peter DeBoer, when asked about how he’ll use Martin Brodeur and Corey Schneider (full interview linked above):

You’ve been mostly splitting the back-to-back sets between the two goaltenders the last two seasons with Brodeur anyway. Have you thought a lot about how you’ll split the games overall between Brodeur and Schneider?

“No. Not really. Those things sort themselves out. Marty’s back. Marty’s our starting goaltender and we’ve got a fantastic 1A in Cory Schneider.”

Not much cause to set ourselves on fire. He has to at least pay lip service to one of the greatest goaltenders in the history or hockey. The man is at least owed that. And I do believe if he plays even moderately well he’ll get his share of games. DeBoer left the door open nicely for Schneider to earn the bulk of the starts, which as I said yesterday, I think he’ll do.


John Tavares will replace Mark Streit as Isles captain

Hey, what kind of madman wouldn’t support this? Face of the franchise, classy guy, locked up until 2018… kind of a no-brainer. It’s JT’s team.

I had actually forgotten about a column I wrote on the true role of a captain until Sean Gentille of The Sporting News (TSN.com, as he likes to remind people) mentioned it yesterday. You can read that here.

Oh, and by the way – as @RoseTintedVisor pointed out to me yesterday: the Islanders home page has gone to a black header and “Brooklyn Nets” font. You’ll recall that the Islanders will be sharing an arena with the black & white Nets (possibly) next season, and the concept that they could adopt a black and white jersey has been floated before. I wrote about it with much insight here.

Maybe we’ll see a jersey reveal for the outdoor game in Yankee Stadium this winter?


The NFL’s defensive player of the year loves hockey

JJ Watt is a 6’5″ 288 pound linebacker for the Houston Texans, and every damn ounce of that is muscle. Last season he won defensive player of the year in the NFL after racking up 20.5 sacks, 16 passes batted down (NFL record), and 39 runners tackled for either no gain or a loss.

Needless to say, I was little surprised to see “hockey” among one of his main talking points in this interview with Peter King.

JJ Watt3

“I grew up in Wisconsin loving hockey. I mean, I started when I was three years old on skates. I played all over—in Canada all the time, all over the U.S., over in Germany for a 10-day tournament. Hockey, honestly, was my first love. The excitement, the fast pace, the intensity of the game … I still love it to this day. Really, I had to quit. It was financial. I have two younger brothers and we were all playing on a travel team, and it was extremely expensive. My family is a middle class family. When I grew up and learned how much it actually cost for us to play hockey, I could not believe that my parents let us play as long as they did. Now I’m forever grateful for my parents even giving me the opportunity, because honestly those were some of the best years of my life. Now that I understand how much it cost, I’m so thankful to my parents. I wasn’t always this big, so I was more of a center back then and a goal scorer. Loved the game. Still do. I love the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s one of my favorite sporting events … And [6-9 Bruins defenseman] Zdeno Chara—he’s representing for all us big guys out there. I love him. I love his physical brand of hockey.”

Hockey really is painfully expensive. How thankful do you think NHLers are that Watt choose football? I’m guessing they’re fine with watching him on Sundays.

And while we’re discussing hockey in weird places, one of the best players on the PGA Tour this year is from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and loves the Calgary Flames. Check this picture out:

Graham DeLaet

A Flames yardage book, eh? Right on.

More on Graham DeLaet’s love of hockey here.