Subban happy to visit here
P.K. Subban is no longer a Montreal Canadien, but he says there is nothing bittersweet about returning to the city where he spent the first six seasons of his National Hockey League career.
“In my life there are going to be changes along the way and there will be many more,” said Subban, talking to reporters just before the Eh Gala, a fundraising event for the P.K. Subban Foundation held Wednesday evening at the Montreal Science Centre at the Old Port.
“It was a big change in my life in terms of leaving friends and leaving relationships that I developed here in Montreal,” Subban said.
“But by the same token, I’m very happy to be in Nashville and I wish my teammates and everybody in the (Canadiens) organization nothing but the best because they treated me so well while I was there and they gave me the opportunity to be successful. And I’m going to take all of that stuff and try to develop the same thing in Nashville. We have such a great environment in Nashville with our team and the organization and the city and the community and the state of Tennessee. I’m just happy to be a part of that.”
When Subban was traded by the Canadiens to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Preds captain Shea Weber in the summer of 2016, there was some speculation as to how that would affect his pledge to raise $10 million for the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. But Subban said there was never any doubt in his mind he would honour the commitment, one of the biggest charity pledges ever made by a Canadian athlete.
“I choose, with some of the time that I have and the platform I have, to try to help as many people as I can,” Subban said. “That’s the way my family has operated since I’ve come into this world.”
Subban was also in town to run a hockey clinic for kids at the Pierrefonds Sportsplexe on Monday and Tuesday, to raise money for the P.K. Subban Foundation, which in turn supports the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.
After a rocky start to the season for Subban and the Predators, both the ex-Hab and the team picked up steam in the playoffs.
They came within two games of winning the Stanley Cup, losing the final to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
“We were two games away from it being the ultimate goal,” Subban said. “I’m going to take that as a positive and build on it for next year.”
The Predators defenceman admitted it was agonizing to be so close, yet so far, from winning hockey’s greatest trophy.
“It was tough obviously, realizing you were that close,” Subban said.
Subban was reluctant to make any comparison between the experience of playing for the Canadiens and for the Predators.
“I don’t think you ever really compare when you play in a different place,” Subban said. “Obviously, the major difference is I’ve been to the Stanley Cup final with Nashville and I never got the opportunity to do that in Montreal.”
P.K. Subban speaks before attending the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation gala at the Montreal Science Centre on Wednesday.