CHAR­I­TA­BLE RE­TURN

Sub­ban happy to visit here

Montreal Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BREN­DAN KELLY bkelly@post­media.com twit­ter.com/ bren­dan­show­biz

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.”

PETER McCABE

P.K. Sub­ban speaks be­fore at­tend­ing the Mon­treal Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion gala at the Mon­treal Sci­ence Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day.

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