New Jersey Devils: P.K. Subban On A Contract Year Could Be Dangerous

P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils sent Steve Santini, Jeremy Davies, and two 2nd-round picks to get superstar defenseman P.K. Subban. It looked like Ray Shero finally got the number-one defenseman this team so truly desired. The team was coming off a disappointing year, but they had to convince Taylor Hall that this was a franchise he could win with. After getting the first-overall pick, it was time for the Devils to compete.

We don’t need to get too far into what happened next. Every veteran of substance got traded or cut from the team over the next two years. Subban is now the second-oldest player on the NHL roster. The oldest is Aaron Dell, who was born nine days before Subban. His $9 million contract is the main reason why people have an issue with Subban. It doesn’t help how he plays on the ice, but his contract is the main issue fans have.

Well, that contract ends after next season. Subban is not going to get a raise from his ridiculous deal. In fact, he’s not even going to make half of what he makes now on his deal. He’d have to have a Norris-like season in order to even earn a long-term deal next offseason. He just doesn’t have that in him anymore. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and he’s had too many injuries to play as he did in his prime.

Subban did prove something this season. He can still be a quality defender when looking at the whole picture. He wasn’t a top 10 defenseman like he was. He probably isn’t even a top-30 defender in the NHL. However, he’s still one of the 60 best defensemen in this league. He would be on the second line on just about every team in the league outside of Colorado or Carolina.

Can he elevate himself to another level knowing that he’s playing for a new contract? Subban has played for a new contract twice. He had decent seasons both times, but he actually did better the season before that. So that’s a little worrisome. However, he’s a different Subban now. He’s not playing for tens of millions of dollars. He’s playing for the future of his career.

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Subban might be a completely different player next season. Obviously, it has a lot to do with roster construction, but he had a really good role in Lindy Ruff‘s system. He’s been worlds better this past season than he was in the season before. This was also coming at a time when the team dealt with a coronavirus outbreak, playing basically every other night, having no time to practice, and playing on a team that was basically all young players. Still, Subban brought something significant to the table.

Put a better team around him next season, add a lot more time in between games to practice and rest, then add on that he is going after a new contract in the offseason, and this could be a really good season from Subban. One could even say it’s dangerous for the rest of the league. Obviously, the Devils don’t have the same expectations of other teams, but they could still play spoiler. Subban might be a revelation since he has another long offseason to change how he plays the game. Another season where he knows how to play like the new Subban could mean he has it 100% in the bag.